OBX Visitors Bureau survey solicits residents’ input on tourism issues

By on November 11, 2022


In an interview with the Voice six months ago, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lee Nettles said Dare County was committed to examining the issue of sustainable tourism and to trying to strike the right balance between the level of tourism needed to fuel the local economy and the level of tourism that brings adverse impacts, particularly to local residents.

That is a subject that inspires impassioned debate and strong opinions among many local residents, including those who worry that the Outer Banks will become “another Myrtle Beach” and some who say it has already travelled too far in that direction.

“The level of visitation that we’ve had in the last year and a half is not necessarily sustainable,” Nettles acknowledged in that Voice interview back in May, “particularly when you combine it with a limited workforce and some of the other challenges we’ve got…There’s a price for that growth. The impacts of tourism are both positive and negative.”

To that end, the Visitors Bureau has hired a company out of British Columbia to work on developing a long-term tourism management plan, a project expected to take the better part of a year. One of the first goals, Nettles explained, is “community engagement activity, where we really want to bring folks together and let’s have a conversation, let’s figure out what are our shared values, what do we think it is that makes this place so special…”

Earlier this week, the Visitors Bureau sent out this information about a resident survey that is designed to be part of this community conversation. The survey solicits residents’ views, among other things, on the value of tourism and what constitutes the right amount of tourism: the kind of tourists the bureau should focus on attracting; how well the county is managing the current level of tourism; and the impact of tourism on your or your family.

Here is the release.

“The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau is embarking on a process to develop a Long Range Tourism Management Plan for the community.

In creating this plan, it is important for all voices to be heard, including the voices of our residents and non-resident property owners. We know that tourism development can have both positive and negative implications for the quality of life. We believe that making the Outer Banks a better place to live and work will also make it a more appealing place to visit.

We would sincerely appreciate your time to share and complete the quick survey below, which will take approximately 15 minutes. Survey responses are anonymous, and emails will not be used for any other purposes. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6V7CL9R.”


  • Kit

    Why don’t we quit all the more, more, more attitude, stop building mini-hotels and real hotels, get away from the idea that if we don’t keep chasing dollars we’re going to perish and just relax for a few years? Somebody is making a great deal of money, which is the impetus for all the forward motion, but if we just stop for a few years we can acclimate to the present status, learn to enjoy life and be content. We don’t have to be continually grasping for more, more, more!

    Sunday, Nov 13 @ 11:06 am
  • Faith

    What was once 1 of the most beautiful things about this place was the gift of being able to see the ocean. Now its nothing but housing which the locals can’t afford. Stop letting everyone be able to turn houses into Airbnbs.
    No more mini motels on the beach.

    Sunday, Nov 13 @ 1:54 pm
  • Smurf123

    Those that say I’m ignorant luckily have the right to call me names as much as I have the right to say what I feel. Get rid of the tourist trap junk and replace it with higher class attractions and emeneties. Make the area less attractive for the run of the mill tourists that come here to trash the beach and buy plastic trinkets. Those folks will still have places like Virginia Beach, Ocean City, MD and Myrtle Beach to welcome them with open arms.

    Sunday, Nov 13 @ 8:19 pm
  • Currituck

    Tourism management? Laughable. Le t me put into context. Imagine my dismay when I bought a home on a golf course and golf balls hit; my house, car, windows and landed in my yard only to chased by a…you guessed it, a golfer. Shocking! Who the heck could have predicted that?
    The golf course “management” should intervene. Did I mention I bought a home on a golf course. I did so because I enjoy golf and most of the time a golf course makes for a superior neighbor.

    There are NO solutions, only compromise and the compromise was VOLUNTARILY made when you purchased a home at a resort beach. Do you get anything that is on the plus side? Lower taxes, they could be even lower, resort amenities, excess number of seasonal and year round employment and the biggie, higher property values.

    Those that seek solutions where none exist are

    Monday, Nov 14 @ 7:03 am
  • Rydaldude

    Its about quality, not quantity. Certain towns get it, others don’t. Kitty Hawk, do we really need another Sugar Kingdom? Of all the candy stores, y’all choose the most obnixous looking one with a not so great track record. Enough is enough. When people see crap, they treat it like crap. Blame is squarely on the officials who “approve” such sort of projects. Vote ’em out. Well, at least in Kitty Hawk they resign!

    Monday, Nov 14 @ 8:48 am
  • George

    As frequent past visitors to obx the last two visits have us removing obx from our places to go list.
    OBX is a victim of it’s own success.
    Old money selling out to corporations and big business.
    Lack of public transportation contributes to massive traffic jams.
    Sorry too see it happen

    Monday, Nov 14 @ 9:04 am
  • Human Utensil for the Rich

    Power to the People Again!
    Are any Dare County rule makers reading these articles and their comments?
    The majority of longtime resident worker drones are weary of living here.

    Monday, Nov 14 @ 9:48 am
  • Charles

    Some big whiffs on the Smurfs sarcasm, but that is the way it goes. We can flail away with our egos all we want on how it “should” be, mother nature will take care of all of it eventually.

    Monday, Nov 14 @ 2:57 pm
  • Just Beachy

    So many ignorant comments! How exactly should the Tourism Board “get rid of all the Wings”? So we want governments making decisions about private businesses now?

    And how on earth does anyone think Dare County residents pay for the Tourism Board? It’s paid for by occupancy taxes, which are paid by tourists or anyone staying in a hotel, Air Bnb, vacation rental or even campground.

    Tuesday, Nov 15 @ 1:03 pm
  • resident

    Enough is Enough is Enough and Lisa’s comments nailed it! Also, we don’t need more studies. We need action. The issues are pollution, housing, Safety, maintaining the unique atmosphere of our communities, representation of residents instead of just the tourists. The Planning Board needs to be involved and show some transparency as to what they are planning for the future. Maybe the next five years? Also, some regulations for new structures to preserve the aesthetics of The Outer Banks, which has been lost in the last ten years. A major concern is the availability of homes that current residents are able to rent. The availability is almost nonexistent and many residents face becoming homeless if their current home is sold or turned into an air b and b or having to re-locate There is a misunderstanding that it would be a handout. We simply just need a structure to rent so that we can continue to work 2 + jobs. The businesses that the Visitors Bureau cater to are making RECORD profits! When is enough enough? When will the Tourist Bureau re-invest some of the money collected to improve The Outer Banks? I will be sure to go back on their site and look at their financial records.

    Thursday, Nov 17 @ 12:51 pm
  • Pet Peeve

    Can we respectfully point out to the Visitors Bureau (and everyone/anyone) that it is “on the Outer Banks” not “in the Outer Banks”

    Friday, Nov 18 @ 10:37 pm