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TDA celebrates visitors' first point of contact

Tourism Development Authority volunteers pose during a training session at the Center for Art & Inspiration. Tourism Development Authority volunteers pose during a training session at the Center for Art & Inspiration.

The Henderson County Tourism Development Authority hosted a meeting to celebrate and train volunteers on Sept. 23 at the Center for Art & Inspiration on Main Street.

The event marked the first time this group of active volunteers have had the opportunity to gather since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they were excited to come together for community, training, and continue to develop their relationship with the HCTDA staff. The volunteers were joined by Michelle Owens, the TDA’s new executive director, and Michael Arrowood, visitor services coordinator.

The TDA’s front desk volunteers serve as the first point of contact with all the Visitor Center’s guests, guiding them to the many things there are to see and do throughout Henderson County.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work more closely with our volunteers,” Arrowood said. “They have such a wealth of information to share and a passion for promoting the area, and I look forward to helping them continue to grow.”

Owens began as the executive director of the organization in May and has continued the work of her predecessors to promote Hendersonville as a tourism destination using funds generated through tourism, specifically the occupancy tax collected by accommodations. Part of this includes running the Visitor Center on South Main Street.

“Many of the Visitor Center’s volunteers moved here as a result of their own visit, so they have a unique understanding of what our guests are looking for,” Owens said. “They have become experts in knowing what Henderson County has to offer as well as making guests feel welcome.”