North Carolina extends a wi-fi welcome to visitors


State welcome centers now offer free wireless internet service

Staff Report



RALEIGH — North Carolina’s Welcome Centers now provide free wireless internet service for busy travelers stopping at any of the nine welcome centers located across the state. The free service will enable visitors to more quickly connect with the many travel options North Carolina offers, as well as to check email and share their experiences with family and friends.

“Broadband connectivity has become vital to our state’s economy, in ways both large and small,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III. “People now expect Wi-Fi connections wherever they are, so it’s our pleasure to offer this important service to all travelers who are out exploring our state’s many treasures.”

Signs have been posted inside the welcome centers that direct visitors to one of the center’s travel counselors, who will provide a password to gain access.

“We’re pleased to provide this additional service to our visitors, both to welcome them to our state and to provide them with an easy way to get information about North Carolina,” said Bryan Gupton, director of visitor services for N.C. Commerce.

North Carolina’s Welcome Centers have recently installed electronic guest registries as well. “We’re using our wireless capabilities to provide services to our visitors, like wi-fi and kiosks, but we’re also using this technology to help identify and respond to visitor needs,” Gupton said.

The welcome centers promote thousands of tourism-related businesses — attractions, accommodations, events and more — to visitors already in the state actively seeking travel information. Located on Interstate highways just inside the state line, each Welcome Center has a statewide focus, with an emphasis on information for visitors traveling a particular interstate corridor.

Professional, nationally-certified travel counselors located at each welcome center distribute the state’s Official North Carolina Travel Guide, the Department of Transportation’s official state map, and other marketing publications exclusively about North Carolina. The centers offer detailed travel information in clean, modern facilities and can book room reservations at no charge for visitors staying overnight in North Carolina.

The welcome centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The centers are closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

State welcome centers now offer free wireless internet service

Staff Report

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