For Immediate Release

Friday, May 24, 2019

 GOLDSBORO, NC – The Travel & Tourism Department for the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County, also known as Visit Goldsboro, has published a report revealing that Wings Over Wayne Air Show, held at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. has had another successful year. The reports showed that crowds of over 152,000 attended the Air Show, and the event generated over $6.4 million in economic impact. The report also showed that of these visitors, 70% drove more than 30 miles to attend, 35% were first time attendees to the Air Show, and a visitor from eastern Europe traveled the farthest for the event.

Headed into the 2019, the intent was to collect more event-specific data to better understand the impact of the air show on Wayne County and neighboring regions. The Goldsboro-Wayne County’s Travel & Tourism Department collected over 500 responses through online and on-the-ground surveys for the 2019 Wings Over Wayne Air Show. The responses helped provide insight on attendee demographics, effectiveness of marketing efforts, overall satisfaction, and the economic impact specific to the Wings Over Wayne Air Show for Goldsboro-Wayne County. Based on the sample size, the results of the survey reflect a 95% confidence rating with a 4% margin of error.

The detailed data from this year’s report shows the satisfaction rating for the Air Show was high, at an average of 4.33 out of 5, with 60% of respondents giving a 5 out of 5 for general satisfaction. The aspect of the Air Show that people liked best was the flying demonstrations, which were rated as an average of 4.83 out of 5. The headlining USAF Thunderbirds was the highest rated aspect for this year’s show. The most effective form of marketing was the use of social media with over 50% of attendees hearing about the event via social media platforms.

Delving into further detail about the economic impact of Wings Over Wayne Air Show, the report revealed that while the event generated $6.4 million into the Wayne County economy, over $5 million of this was new revenue sparked by non-local visitors, who reside outside of Wayne County. Non-local visitors were recorded as spending on average $165 per party for the duration of their trip, and the average travel party was 3.5 people. Since Wings Over Wayne Air Show is a free event, the spending averages refer to accommodation, food, drink, shopping, and gas in Goldsboro-Wayne County.

Ashlin Glatthar, director of the Travel & Tourism Department of Goldsboro and Wayne County, said “I am proud of our office’s ability to produce a more detailed report revealing how Wings Over Wayne impacts our Wayne County economy, how attendees heard about the show, feedback on their overall experience, and better insight on attendee demographics. It took a lot of work to gather the data, but now there is a more accurate benchmark for measuring and enhancing future air shows. 152,000 is a lower number than reported after past air shows, but it’s nonetheless, an impressive and more accurate number that truly reflects the reality of the crowd turnout in years prior.”

This year, the Travel & Tourism Office for Goldsboro and Wayne County organized a number of new activities to complement the Air Show. Many visitors came to the Goldsboro area early and extended their trip to attend these events. The new activities involved a Guided Tour Series: A History Tour, A BBQ Trail Tasting Tour, a Ghost Tour, and a Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Tour. With the assistance of the city’s Downtown Goldsboro Development Office, a Wings Over Wayne themed bar crawl took place in Downtown Goldsboro on Saturday, April 27, after the first day of the Air Show, attracting approximately an additional 100 people into Downtown bars and restaurants.

The 2019 Wings Over Wayne Air Show featured several well-known and world class quality flying acts, such as the USAF Thunderbirds, which headlined this year’s show. For the first time in Wings Over Wayne history, the F-35A Demo Team and C-17 Team showcased their air power and unique capabilities. Other favorites were included in the flying line up, such as the Army Black Daggers Jump Team, the Air Force Combined Arms Demo, Tora, Tora, Tora, Acemaker T-33, plus many more.

The newly opened Home2 Suites by Hilton Goldsboro had the privilege of hosting the USAF Thunderbirds’ team this year. Tammy Cannon, the hotel general manager, shared “Wings over Wayne Air Show was absolutely wonderful. The Thunderbirds are the best group that we have had and we thoroughly enjoyed them being here at the Home2 Suites by Hilton Goldsboro. We appreciate the opportunity of being the Host Hotel.”

Following the event, Maj. Benjamin “Hasle” Hoffman, director for the 2019 Wings Over Wayne Air Show, commented, “we are grateful for the opportunity to present America’s Airpower to so many people, while simultaneously being the catalyst for an economic resurgence in the local community.  For their mighty outpouring of support, we’d like to thank the City of Goldsboro, the Military Affairs Committee, our sponsors and donors, and, of course, all of our spectators!”

Wings Over Wayne Air Show is held in odd numbered years with the next show scheduled for 2021. Dates for WOW 2021 will be announced soon.

For more information, contact:

Ashlin Glatthar, Director

919-734-7922 or aglatthar@goldsboronc.gov

Goldsboro Wayne County Travel & Tourism (Visit Goldsboro)