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Discover Durham FAQ

We’re an open book.

If you’ve got questions about what destination marketing is, how we operate, and what our policies are, you’ve come to the right place. If you don’t find the specific answers to your questions here, we’re only a phone call away at 800-446-8604.

What is a Convention & Visitors Bureau?

CVBs are the most common type of destination marketing organizations (DMOs). They market places for visitor-related economic development, e.g., pleasure, personal and business visitation, meetings and conventions, group tours, movie productions and sports events. The first CVB was organized more than 100 years ago in Detroit; there are now more than 1,200 across the world. Discover Durham (the assumed business name for Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau) was organized in 1989 and was reconstituted as a local tourism development authority in 2002. Prior to becoming a tourism development authority, Discover Durham was originally chartered by the City and County of Durham from 1989 to 2002 via interlocal agreement and as a provision for first receiving authority to collect the room occupancy and tourism development tax in 1986.

Is Discover Durham part of the Chamber of Commerce?

No. But, CVBs in very small towns commonly begin as a part of the local chamber. As communities grow, there is usually a division of effort. Typically, CVBs are community organizations, while chambers are private membership organizations. In Durham, both organizations market Durham as a place. Discover Durham handles visitors, meetings, group tours, movie productions and sports events. The chamber handles new move-ins and relocating or expanding businesses. The Durham Chamber was instrumental in the founding of Discover Durham.

How is Discover Durham funded?

Visitors pay a 6% room occupancy and tourism development tax when they stay in a Durham hotel, motel, AirBnB, VRBO or bed and breakfast and approximately 33% of this tax is reinvested in Discover Durham to attract and serve more visitors to Durham. In addition, visitors pay taxes on gasoline, retail sales, food service, car rentals and air travel. These tax revenues provide visitor services and facilities and also go into the general funds of local and state government. Occupancy taxes are typically the way the visitor sector of the economy provides for destination marketing.

Is Discover Durham a government agency?

Discover Durham (the assumed business name for Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau) is a special purpose local government organization that serves as the business end of the Durham Tourism Development Authority. The authority is a public body chartered by the General Assembly as part of legislation enabling Durham to collect its room occupancy and tourism development tax. The City Council and Board of County Commissioners appoint authority members as required by the legislation.

Does Discover Durham have memberships?

No. It could one day, but currently Discover Durham and visitor-sector businesses have decided that the best way for the private sector to participate is through sponsorship of Discover Durham publications and other cooperative marketing projects.

How are Discover Durham Tourism Development Authority (TDA) members appointed?

Half are appointed by the Durham City Council and half by the Durham Board of County Commissioners. TDA members represent residents at large, neighborhoods, lodging properties, restaurants, retail stores, features and entertainment organizations, organizations that drive visitor demand and transportation companies. Openings and applications are advertised. Durham residency is required.

When does the Discover Durham TDA meet?

The TDA meets at 3 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month except December. Contact Susan Amey, President & CEO 10 days in advance for agenda consideration.

How many visitor centers are there in Durham?

Only one. The Durham Visitor Info Center at 212 W. Main St. #101 is the official Durham facility. Official Durham Visitor Guides and Visitor Map & Overviews are available here and also are distributed biweekly to more than 125 outlets throughout the community, including the lobbies of lodging properties and major corporations.

What are the sports and film offices?

Typically these events are attracted as part of visitor-related economic development. Thus, Discover Durham is the office for attracting film productions and major sports events to Durham.

What is the Discover Durham Editorial Policy?

DiscoverDurham.com is the official travel and tourism website of Durham, North Carolina, owned and operated by the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (Discover Durham), the destination marketing organization for Durham County. Discover Durham content across website, email, print publication, and social media channels is editorial in nature, with the goal of informing visitors about things to do in Durham County.

All content is created, edited and approved for publication by Durham-savvy communications professionals. Discover Durham is committed to providing engaging content for prospective visitors that positively promotes the Durham brand, while celebrating Durham's colorful personality and inclusiveness. Editorial coverage of Durham businesses and features is independent of partnerships and politics to provide useful, authentic content for potential visitors. While we're happy to correct errors that are brought to our attention, all content is considered final once published. All use of the website is governed by Discover Durham's privacy policy.


Discover Durham does its best to stay up-to-date on changes in Durham, and we need your help! Please communicate changes to enews@discoverdurham.com so our website can be as accurate as possible. If you are a partner to Discover Durham, you may also update your listing information by visiting MyDurhamInfo.com. If you see something out of date on the website, notify enews@discoverdurham.com.


We take pride in Durham, and our primary goal is to provide content to visitors that reflects our brand values and tells the story of why someone would consider Durham as a destination. Do you have a story idea that will attract and inform prospective Durham visitors? Great! We'd love to hear from you.

Before you pitch an idea for a blog post, video or other piece of editorial content, here's what we'll need from you:

  1. An overview of your story idea. A list of sources we can contact, a topic, proposed angle and how it relates to one or more of our brand values (positive, inspiring, inclusive) would be a great place to start.
  2. A prospective timeline. We plan our articles six weeks in advance. Therefore, if you have an idea that is time-sensitive or seasonal, please give us notice so that we can make sure it's relevant by the time it's published.
  3. Recognition of our mission and purpose. Our potential use of your idea is strictly contingent upon its alignment with our mission and purpose. We endeavor to include content that fulfills our mission and is consistent with our editorial guidelines, but cannot guarantee the use of any particular content or content ideas.
  4. Adaptability. Discover Durham reserves the right to review, revise and/or reject any and all content that you provide in our sole discretion. We may not be able to accommodate your story, but trust that there's an editorial strategy behind our decision.
  5. Does your idea check all of our boxes? Send it along to enews@discoverdurham.com.


All of our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn) are administered by Discover Durham for the purpose of marketing Durham as a destination, promoting Durham features, properties, and events, and engaging fans in topics of interest. Additionally, each will be used to share critical information and news about Durham in the event of emergency. Thus:

  • Discover Durham uses its social media channels to communicate with potential Durham visitors, residents and local stakeholders.
  • Discover Durham retains editorial independence in content shared on its page, including comments and guest posts.
  • Discover Durham is not a news source or community bulletin, rather, content reflects Discover Durham's role in promoting Durham as a destination.

Posts and comments in conflict with the guidelines below will be deleted from the platform. Comments containing profanity, threats or libel will be deleted and the user banned from the page without further communication. Discover Durham reserves the right to ban users/delete any posts or comments including those that, in its sole view:

  • contain offensive or vulgar language
  • are personal attacks of any kind
  • include prejudiced or hurtful remarks made toward any ethnic/racial/religious group/person
  • are spam
  • are blatant, unsolicited attempts to sell or promote goods or services
  • promote events or activities that are not held in Durham
  • are clearly off-topic
  • advocate illegal activity
  • infringe on copyrights or trademarks

Please note that the posts and comments expressed on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn etc.) do not necessarily reflect the opinions and positions of Discover Durham, its employees or its governing body, the Durham Tourism Development Authority. Any non-Discover Durham links on this site do not constitute endorsement by Discover Durham.

Discover Durham reserves the right to change and supplement these guidelines without notice. For questions about this policy, please contact us at socialmedia@discoverdurham.com.