Faces of Tourism

Tourism represents a $7 billion industry in the Charlotte region and employs more than 136,000 people. Without these individuals, the industry and Charlotte’s growth overall wouldn’t be thriving like it is today. When people visit Charlotte and have a great experience, it raises the destination profile to a new level in the minds of visitors, showcases the community’s southern hospitality, helps to foster a strong visitor economy and provides revenue to invest in our community. Learn more about some of the smiling faces in the Charlotte community who are contributing to the lasting impact of the visitor economy. We’ll continue to highlight these tourism all-stars month after month.


Dianna Ward

Owner of Charlotte NC Tours, Executive Director of Charlotte B-cycle

“Charlotte is a city in transition with a healthy mix of Southern charm and progressive ideas. Tourism and tourists add spice and encourage creativity. People visit and some decide, based on their experiences, to move to Charlotte. They decide to host important meetings and conventions here, and some even decide to open or expand their businesses in the city. Charlotte has everything anyone would want. We have phenomenal restaurants and breweries. There are great outdoor activities. Within a few hours you can be at the beach or the mountains. We have amazing public art. I recently traveled to Paris and was reminded of how famous artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely are. Charlotte has Niki de Saint Phalle’s Firebird statue located in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, which was designed by the architect who created the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Likewise, we have a Jean Tinguely installation in the Carillon building on West Trade Street. At Charlotte NC Tours and Charlotte B-cycle, we hire people who LOVE people. They are passionately in love with this city and are able to exude that passion to visitors and locals. We have been offering tours since August of 2009. We are only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We take people behind the scenes and give them context about what makes the ordinary extraordinary in Charlotte.” 


Alyssa Gorelick and Andrew Wilen

Owners of Chef Alyssa's Kitchen 

“There are so many Charlotte neighborhoods that are exciting, eclectic and cool with homegrown businesses. With countless unique, local businesses wielding a passion for what they do, it’s easy to stumble upon something that will make your day. It makes each walk around town an adventure. At Chef Alyssa's Kitchen, we are a Charlotte-born family business. Whether you're learning an international cuisine or a seasonal recipe, we use ingredients from the area that tie back to our Southern roots. Our culinary kitchen is just an extension of our home. People are willing to travel great distances in the region for an experience they know they will value. They visit Charlotte and then realize it’s a great place to live.”


Andy and Robin Ciordia 

Bill and Karen Dietz

The Secret Chocolatier

“Charlotte is an exciting blend of a thriving, modern city with small, diverse neighborhoods. Our family, staff and products represent the unique blend of styles and flavors that can be found throughout the Queen City. A visitor coming to The Secret Chocolatier would experience a warm welcome from an enveloping smell of chocolate and our friendly staff. Whether a person is buying a large box of chocolates or just one truffle to brighten their day, we are happy to see you. The diverse array of activities in the Charlotte area allows for everyone to have fun and make unforgettable memories here, and our family is happy to be a part of this dynamic community. Enjoy a sample and have a discussion about chocolate with us.” 




Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel 

Owners of Crepe Cellar, Growlers Pourhouse and Haberdish

“Charlotte is the perfect place to visit and the perfect place to live. With small neighborhoods quilting our city together with unique experiences, you’ll run into spots you can’t find anywhere else. When a person comes to Charlotte, a big part of their experience is what they eat. Often, visitors are looking for a place that is a non-chain, independently-owned restaurant. We are so proud to be able to fill that need and offer hospitality that gives guests a chance to really relish their dining experience at a one-location restaurant concept. Visitors bring a vibrancy to our town that allows us to share what’s unique about Charlotte with other people and cities. We’re a proud city and we want othersto get a chance to see what a wonderful place we are.”



Justin and Sarah Brigham 

Owners of Sycamore Brewery 

“At Sycamore Brewing we pride ourselves in our guest experience, whether you’re one of our neighbors or from Raleigh. We have guests from all over the Carolinas and beyond come through our doors every week. No matter where they’re from, they’re always looking for something unique to do in Charlotte and that’s where we come in. We offer an experience that helps to make Charlotte special and memorable. These visitors are a key ingredient in helping us get our name out there and continuing our success. Charlotte tourism matters.”