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Melissa Riggle: New Bern

2023 NC Main Street Champion


Melissa Riggle, Executive Director of Visit New Bern, is reshaping New Bern tourism. She established strategic partnerships with Southern Living, Our State, Cary and Wake Living magazines, which resulted in $400,000 of unpaid, earned media content since 2021. Her influencer partnerships have been attracting the thirty plus demographic as well as targeted socioeconomic demographics. Melissa initiated and over­sees two annual events attracting off­season visitation. The first is Arts in April, a month­long calendar of collaborative events for the performing and visual arts, and the second is Trail to Tryon, a half marathon in November that begins and ends at Tryon Palace.


2022 was its inaugural year with two hundred and fifty registrants in which sixty percent were visitors. Under her leadership, Visit New Bern implemented two award-winning campaigns, Tryon New Bern, and It’s Time. As a result, Visit New Bern won the North Carolina Travel Industry Gold Award for Group Marketing in 2021 and 2022. In addition, New Bern won a Platinum Award for Convention Marketing in 2022, Platinum Award for Leisure Marketing in 2021 and her Sales Manager, Tammy Rodriguez, received the North Carolina Travel Industry Tourism Excellence Award in 2022. New Bern is honored to recognize Melissa Riggle as its 2023 North Carolina Main Street Champion.

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