The N.C. Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development received a 2014 Mercury Award on August 26th from the U.S. Travel Association's National Council of State Tourism Directors for the Official 2014 North Carolina Travel Guide. The guide, the cover of which features the gorilla exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo, won top honors among Print Visitor's Guides. The award was presented at the annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Official 2014 North Carolina Travel Guide combined engaging content, compelling photography and extensive listings to reflect the state's diverse destinations, attractions, culture, recreation, history, accommodations and culinary experiences. The guide was supported by and produced exclusively from partner advertising revenue solicited by the publisher's sales team. The only state expense associated with the Guide was distribution.

“This is such exciting news for the Division of Tourism, and for the North Carolina Zoo and City of Asheboro,” said Tammy O’Kelley, executive director of Randolph County Tourism Development Authority and chair of the N.C. Travel & Tourism Board. “To have the zoo featured on the cover this year was an honor in itself. For the guide to have won this prestigious award is a real testament to the amazing work done by division staff and their partners across the state.”   

The division also took home an award for their N.C. Beer Month promotion which highlighted collaborations among breweries, restaurants, accommodations and other partners who created special events, lodging packages, unique tasting experiences and other activities throughout the month of April. The first-year public relations campaign generated 254 million consumer impressions for an advertising value of more than $2.3 million.