Q: Do you track and record any personal information such as name, address, buying habits without my knowledge?

A: NO!!   We ONLY work with personal information you voluntarily submit. This is a predatory practice, and we have NEVER subscribed to it.

Q: What happens when I request information using the Tourism and/or Relocation Information Request forms?

A: The CoastalGuide/CoastalGuide acts as a central dispatcher for requests for visitor information about the coastal area.  We forward these to participating chambers, visitors centers,tourism boards, etc., that may be able to serve the visitor's needs.  We also forward these to our major commercial sponsors, typically hotels, motels, bed & breakfast inns, real estate firms, charters, and tour services who may wish to mail or email you information about their locations, services, amenities, etc.  All members are requested to extend an invitation to "come on over" and offer information which may be of interest to you in planning your visit or about places to enjoy when you're here.  To prevent misuse or ''spamming,'' our members are restricted by the terms of our license agreement.  If you feel that someone is violating the intent of our service, please report it.

We may choose to forward some or all of this information --either now, or at some future date-- to public and private organizations that offer services or products in keeping with the general interests of our visitors. Examples might include, but is not limited to, state or regional tourism surveys, travel or outdoor product vendors, travel agencies, or leisure furniture.

Q: Everyone promises that their web site will respect my online privacy.  How do I know this isn't a trick?

A: All we can offer is our reputation.  This site has been in operation since 1995, at the time of this posting we have processed tens and tens of thousands of highly detailed requests.  To the best of our knowledge there have been less than a dozen complaints.  And, when questioned, each of those that complained admitted that they had misunderstood the nature of the contact they were making.  They had also disregarded the not-so-fine print around the ''Submit Form'' buttons on the forms themselves, nor had they read this FAQ.

It is also worth noting that this very FAQ (which is prominently linked from the very forms themselves) is likely to be one of the oldest pages on the web addressing online privacy concerns, dating back to 1996 or 1997 --though it was basically one question back then: (''Who will get my email address?'')

Q: What does my information request look like?

A: Here are samples:

Q: There is some personal information I'd like to include, will it be kept confidential?

A: DO NOT use this form if there is anything of a personal or private nature included.  By using this form, you are making it public knowledge.  ALL visitors to the site are directed to review our User Agreement which is available throughout the network, usually a direct link at the bottom of any page.

Q: Who will get my email address?

A: No one automatically receives your email address, it is removed at the server level and does not accompany the form unless you put it in the OPTIONAL section. 

However, your complete mailing address is important, because major information distributors are most often set up to respond via the postal service since brochures, maps, directories and guides are their typical resources.

Q: How can I find out about other attractions, events, historic sites, and communities that I might wish to visit while I'm in the area?

A: This is the most unique aspect of the CoastalGuide/CoastalGuide.  As this service has developed, we have been asked to share ALL information requests with ALL members in the coastal regions of the state; allowing the members to contact potential visitors that may not be aware of points of interest near their travel paths.  Our network of communities spans local, county, regional, and even state boundaries.  There's nothing else quite like it!

Q: Can I request "special handling" such as specific contact instructions?

A: We'll try, but results are not guaranteed.  This is a high-volume response site, handling thousands of requests per month. 

Q: Can I direct my request to go to ONLY to a single community or organization?

A: No, sorry. 

Q: Is visitor information about the rest of the state available through this site?

A: Some State agencies are on the membership roster and receive your requests, so you may get general information from them.  They may also forward your request to the locality, but the CoastalGuide/CoastalGuide only covers the coastal regions of North Carolina & South Carolina.  Nearly all of our communities lie within the coastal corridor framed by US Highway 17 on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, with the Intracoastal Waterway as its "backbone".
For links to individual sites in other regions or states, see StateGuide.com.


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