Gov. Nathan Deal joined Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr and Georgia's tourism industry leaders for the annual Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the state Capitol. Milledgeville-Baldwin Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Jane Sowell was in attendance with representatives from the tourism industry as Deal was presented with a check representing the $2.8 billion in state tax revenue generated from tourism-related expenditures in 2013.

"With an overall economic impact of $53.6 billion, tourism in Georgia spurs growth in nearly every community across the state," said Deal. "Each year, the industry attracts visitors from around the world and directly benefits thousands of Georgia households by sustaining more than 411,000 jobs, making up 10.2 percent of the state's workforce."

"The tourism industry is a huge contributor to Georgia's entire economic well-being," said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. "Our tourism assets not only draw in millions of visitors, but they also create a better quality of life for those who call Georgia home as well as increasing investment opportunities by making Georgia a great place to live and do business."

In Baldwin County, 2013 tourist spending generated $79.8 million in direct tourists spending and produced $15.6 million in worker income and paychecks. This spending created $2.9 million in state tax revenue, created $2.3 million in local/county tax revenue and generated 750 jobs. Broken down to a typical day, a 2013 tourist spending in Baldwin County created $218,822 daily in tourism spending, created $7,972 daily in state tax revenue, created $6,520 daily in local county tax revenue and produced $4,273 in daily worker paychecks. As a result of taxes generated by tourist activity in Baldwin County, each household pays $342 less in local and state taxes and each person pays $115 less in local and state taxes. These figures were provided by the GDEcD as a result of a study prepared by the U.S. Travel Association and U.S. Census Bureau.

Deal also unveiled the cover of the 2015 official state travel guide. This full-color, magazine-size guide features Georgia residents and famed chefs Hugh Acheson and "Mama Louise" Hudson on historic Jekyll Island. The guide provides visitors with information on Georgia's tourism assets, including trip ideas, attractions, accommodations, events and more. 700,000 guides are distributed through the state's 11 Visitor Information Centers,, travel and trade shows and 1-800-VISIT GA. GDEcD partnered with Atlanta Magazine Custom Media, the award-winning publisher of Atlanta Magazine and Southbound Magazine, on the travel guide. Locally, the travel guide is available at the Welcome Center.

This year, GDEcD's tourism division is celebrating the flavors of Georgia by showcasing the state's culinary experiences and highlighting unique local flavors, notable chefs, award-winning restaurants, agritourism destinations and much more. The tourism division's culinary initiative will be applied across multiple promotional platforms, including, social media channels, marketing materials, advertising opportunities and special events. The division is also launching a new creative marketing campaign that features sleek designs, vibrant photography and inspiring content, all of which is based around the overall theme of "Pretty. Sweet."

"Georgia's culinary offerings are wonderful complements to our already world-class lineup of destinations and attractions," said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Kevin Langston. "This year's cover is an opportunity to put a spotlight on Georgia's culinary tourism offerings and to provide visitors and locals with a true taste of Georgia."

For more information on Milledgeville & Baldwin County Tourism, contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Milledgeville-Baldwin Convention & Visitors Bureau
Jane Sowell, Director
478-452-4687 p 
478-453-4440 f


About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. Visit