RALEIGH - It seems that tourism and sea turtles can thrive together, if visitor and nesting figures from coastal Dare County last year are any indication.
Figures from the Dare County Visitors Bureau show the county broke a record for occupancy taxes in 2012. More than $382 million was collected through November, compared with more than $367 million in 2011. Meanwhile, sea turtles nested in record numbers along Cape Hatteras National Seashore, with 222 nests found in 2012. The previous record was 153 nests in 2010.
Although the numbers are up, Lee Nettles of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau says not all businesses benefit.
Julie Youngman of the Southern Environmental Law Center says the figures show changes caused by rules on beach driving weren't as devastating as some predicted.
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