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The mission of Tourism Extension is to improve the quality of tourism provision across rural NC by helping individuals and communities develop healthy, prosperous, and enduring tourism enterprises that will boost economic and community development efforts.

Tourism ExtensionTourism Extension is housed within the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Development (PRTM) in the NC State College of Natural Resources (CNR), and is a function of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension (NCCE).

Tourism Extension includes Specialists, Dr. Carla Barbieri, Dr. Duarte Morais and Dr. Erin Seekamp, with joint academic appointment in NCCE and PRTM.

Tourism is big business in North Carolina. According to the NC Department of Commerce (2014), North Carolina is the 6th most visited state in the country for domestic travel, and visitors to North Carolina spend over $20.2 billion and generate over 197,500 jobs for North Carolinians annually. Tourism provides economic development opportunities to rural and urban areas that have been negatively impacted by declines in traditional industries, including manufacturing and textiles. In short, tourism means jobs for many North Carolinians and economic prosperity for communities across the state. Tourism Extension programs recognize the importance of tourism and allow the University to be a partner in planning, developing, and growing sustainable tourism resources across North Carolina and beyond.


If you are an extension agent, business owner, community leader, or simply a citizen seeking help with a tourism project, PRTM offers a number of resources that can help you – visit the Tourism Extension website for additional information and resources.


Over the past few years, Tourism Extension has successfully implemented a variety of programs and initiatives that foster collaborative relationships and further sustainable tourism development across NC:

People-First Tourism

People-First Tourism is a marketplace for buying and selling genuine tourism experiences. This project links entrepreneurs trying to pursue dignified and sustainable livelihoods through tourism with adventurous and conscientious tourists interested in unique off the beaten path experiences and in making positive impacts on the communities they visit. A website at supports an online marketplace.

For more NCSU Tourism Extension Projects and Programs, visit here.