Skip to main content

Girls at lavender agritourism farm

The mission of NC State Extension Tourism 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.

NC State Extension Tourism 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 NC State Extension.

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

Tourism is big business in North Carolina. According to the NC Department of Commerce, North Carolina is the 6th most visited state in the country for domestic travel (2016). Visitors to North Carolina spend over $22.9 billion and generate over 218,340 jobs supporting more than 45,000 businesses 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. Extension Tourism 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 NC State Extension Tourism website for additional information and resources.


Over the past few years, NC State Extension Tourism 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. (Read more)

Women in Agritourism

The NC Women in Agritourism project, a two-year initiative funded by the College of Natural Resources and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University is working on addressing the needs of NC women in agritourism by identifying the factors challenging and contributing to their success. (Read more)

Adapting Cultural Heritage to Climate Change

Researchers at NC State University have been funded by the US DOI Southeast Climate Science Center to help the National Park Service plan for adapting cultural resources under changing climate conditions. Dr. Sandra Fatorić, Post-Doctoral Research Scholar, and Dr. Erin Seekamp, Associate Professor and Extension Tourism Specialist, focused their efforts on the Cape Lookout National Seashore, located on a 56-mile long chain of barrier islands on the North Carolina coast, as their study site… (Read more)

Learn more and see the latest news from NC State Extension Tourism.