Vic Isley

President & CEO of Explore Asheville and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority

Episode Themes: Financial Impacts, Environmental Stewardship, Destination Partnerships

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Vic Isley

Vic Isley is the President & CEO of Explore Asheville and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. She believes in the power of travel — the emotional reward people get through exploring new places, people, and cultures  — and the economic vitality that communities gain through the process. Isley has been recognized as one of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Top 25 Minds in Hospitality & Travel Sales Marketing for being an innovative marketing executive and was named one of North Carolina’s most influential leaders by Business NC magazine. 

Over her 29-year career, she has represented destinations including the island of Bermuda; Washington, DC; Tampa Bay, Florida and Durham, and now Asheville, North Carolina.  Isley’s destination marketing leadership experience ranges from 9/11 recovery efforts for the nation’s capital, promoting Obama’s first presidential inauguration and the dedication of the National World War II Memorial to showcasing major sports events including Super Bowl XXXV, Men’s Basketball NCAA Final Four, NHL All-Star Game and America’s Cup and negotiating multi-year sponsorship partnerships with SailGP, the PGA Tour and United States Tennis Association.   

She served as Chief Operating Officer for what is now Destinations International, the world’s largest destination marketing trade association, representing 600 organizations worldwide. She also operated as the Executive Director of its Foundation. Isley currently serves on the executive board member of the United States Travel Association, and is a board member of the Asheville Buncombe Technical College Foundation, Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and the Asheville Buncombe Hotel Association.  

Growing up on a tobacco farm in rural North Carolina, she knows first-hand the value of hard work. Her first job in hospitality was as a restaurant server, putting herself through college and falling in love with food culture. Vic is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, proud Carolina girl, passionate traveler, foodie, music lover, farmer’s daughter and more.



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