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NIEHS Showcases Travel and Vacation Opportunities

By Eddy Ball
May 2007

Rodbell Auditorium
By lunchtime, Rodbell Auditorium was crowded with the curious. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Scott Merkle
Although the wine caught his eye, Scott Merkle had to be satisfied with water and soft drinks from the cafeteria. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Martha Flanagan
Ranger Martha Flanagan's photo display of state parks was a draw for outdoor enthusiasts. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Buck West
Welcome Center Specialist Buck West represented the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Two days each week he works at the Oconoluftee Indian Village, a re-creation of an early 18th-century Cherokee community. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

On April 4, Alma Britton, Dona McNeill and others in the Administrative Services and Analysis Branch did their part to help NIEHS employees and contractors learn more about why tourism is such a big deal in North Carolina. This was a brand new idea for NIEHS. Representatives from North Carolina tourist industry, companies, organizations and chambers of commerce set up booths to promote their destinations at the newly popular NIEHS Travel and Vacation Fair.

The North Carolina Tourism Division claims that tourism is one of the state's biggest industries, luring 45 million people and $14 billion to the state each year. Looking at the Fair's sample of all the state has to offer, it's easy to see why. North Carolina offers visitors three distinctly different regions full of things to see and do. The Travel and Vacation Fair had booths with four of North Carolina's growing number of vineyards, several beach destinations and some mountain favorites. The Piedmont was represented by the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro and the cities of Winston-Salem, Fayetteville and Durham.

As promised by Britton and McNeill, there were goodies for the taking, even some free food, and the event was a big hit with people touched with spring fever and wanderlust. The big disappointment, however, was that all the wine bottles in Rodbell Auditorium remained securely corked because of government policy.

informational poster
As folks soon found out, there's more to nearby Fayetteville than soldiers, pawn shops and bars. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

poster about the Duplin Winery
Wine, wine everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Connoisseurs will just have to visit Dupin Winery to find out if they like the line of North Carolina-produced wines. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

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