Reports to: VP of Destination Development & Community Engagement
Department: Community Engagement
FLSA Status: Exempt
This is a newly created role for Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau (Explore Asheville). The Destination Development Manager is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing strategies, projects, products, and experiences with the goal of improving the quality of tourism-related infrastructure and experiences. This role requires productive engagement with internal stakeholders and external partners to address complex destination challenges, working to ensure a sustainable tourism economy. Works as project manager, program manager, facilitator and/or lead implementer for a variety of development efforts such as wayfinding, trails, destination training and other priorities as assigned.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Conceptualize, develop, manage, and evolve destination programs and initiatives.
Develop, manage, and oversee major areas of experience development work. This may include generating the programmatic areas of work, conceptualizing the solutions, engaging staff and industry stakeholders in these solutions, and developing templates, tools and projects to test and offer replicable approaches for destinations. Oversee and/or manage program evaluations.
Draft project briefs, work plans, contracts/scopes of work. Manage execution and related projects teams, where applicable, of related projects including delegation, tracking and status and budget from project inception to completion.
Design program workshops and lead workshops/facilitation. Maintain outreach and engagement to evolve program. Evaluate community readiness for success when appropriate.
Source vendors and manage contracts and budgets related to program areas and projects. Prepare budgets, develop methods for tracking, and prepare/analyze reports.
Develop, manage and/or collaborate on internal and external teams that address complex destination challenges, while balancing issues of economic development, visitor sentiment, and local livability.
Manage and collaborate with leadership and teams on identifying key areas of destination management that need to be addressed.
Lead and manage specific challenging areas as assigned. These topics are likely to be very complex and require substantial acumen navigating conflicting priorities in communities.
Responsible for the management, maintenance, and expansion of a community-wide wayfinding signage program to influence dispersal throughout the destination.
Manage a multi-year wayfinding program system reassessment and update process.
Manage the development of an intra-district wayfinding signage within special districts and/or neighborhoods (such as the River Arts District) including community engagement, manage design process with consulting firm, oversee installation and budget.
Serve as liaison when working with municipal partners on project-specific efforts.
Manage the development of the African American Heritage Trail Project including community engagement, design process, fabrication, and installation.
Plan, execute and a variety of events (e.g., industry work group meetings, workshops, and destination trainings). Develop and/or support the creation of event work plans; contribute to content development as appropriate. Manage execution, including securing facility/catering/technology and workshop supplies, production of materials, event registration, on-site logistics, and post-program communications, utilizing/guiding administrative support in execution, as needed.
Manage the development and implementation of industry-wide training and education efforts creating targeted training sessions to increase destination knowledge, presenting a positive image for the destination and greater destination awareness.
Follow principles of sustainable tourism and destination development as outlined in Explore Asheville’s strategic imperatives.
Accountable for the day-to-day workload and contribute to a cohesive, effective, and accountable team in alignment and consistent with Explore Asheville’s values. Actively participate in team meetings and initiatives.
Lead and/or participate in meetings/planning/initiatives to support strong workplace culture and successful performance/execution of organizational strategy. Elevate/solve issues, support change, and ensure the maintenance of productive processes.
Contribute to partner recruitment, database management and other areas of the community engagement department.
Represent the Explore Asheville/BCTDA at meetings and industry functions and before the public. This may include making presentations to a wide range of groups.
Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 4 years of professional experience managing and/or coordinating projects and project tasks with knowledge of project management tactics/best practices, organizational tools, and programs. Preferred degree in Tourism, Economic/Community Development, Urban or Regional Planning, Social Science, or other related field -OR- any combination of education, coursework, and/or technical training necessary to meet position requirements.
Experience in community development, project management, communication, and sustainable tourism principles.
Experience working with diverse community-based stakeholders and associated groups such as steering committees, action teams and community-based work groups.
Experience planning/executing high-quality professional meetings, events (including multi-day) and trainings.
Experience facilitating community meetings, including experience developing and/or delivering engaging and informative presentations and facilitated activities and exercises to ensure high-quality programming
Appreciation for Buncombe County’s tourism community.
Must be able to use sound judgment and discretion.
Well-organized, self-motivated, and comfortable in a fast-paced environment.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
High attention to detail.
Physical Environment & Working Conditions:
The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Work involves working alone on the computer, collaborating as part of a team, or working closely with others by computer or over the phone.
Most work tasks are performed indoors.
Must be able to sit or stand at a desk for up to 7.5 hours per day.
Requires grasping, writing, being mobile, repetitive motions, listening and hearing ability and visual acuity.
Attendance of outside work functions after hours are required.
Position is expected to spend time in the community on a regular basis.
Some local travel, generally within Buncombe County, is required, but not extensive. Must have a valid driver’s license, current automobile insurance and own or have access to an automobile when needed.
Explore Asheville provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.
This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Explore Asheville strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization. We are actively seeking a diverse pool of candidates from a variety of abilities, backgrounds, and cultures.
About Explore Asheville:
The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) oversees the work of the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, which develops and carries out advertising, marketing, public relations, and group sales plans to inspire leisure and business travelers to visit Asheville and Buncombe County. In 2021, the BCTDA adopted strategic imperatives that are informing and guiding the direction of Explore Asheville’s program of work and community investments going forward. These strategic imperatives include:
Deliver balanced recovery and sustainable growth
Encourage safe and responsible travel
Engage and invite more diverse audiences
Promote and support Asheville’s creative Spirit
In addition, the Explore Asheville staff has adopted and embraced the following core values:
Innovate & Evolve – We seek out new ideas and are open to change.
Leadership & Collaboration – We focus on the truly important priorities to make the most positive impact.
Equity & Empathy – We respect and embrace differences recognizing real progress requires inclusion.
What we offer:
Explore Asheville offers a competitive benefits package that includes a Paid Time Off program with 18 days to start, 11 annual paid office holidays, employer-subsidized medical insurance, employer-provided dental, life, STD and LTD insurance, plus 401k with a company match, and employee wellness benefits.
To be a leader in the economic development of Buncombe County by attracting and servicing visitors, generating income, jobs and tax revenues, which make the community a better place to live and visit.
Asheville/Buncombe County will retain its unique, authentic and environmental charm while welcoming global visitors searching for personal enrichment and memorable experiences.