Atlanta, Jan. 24, 2017 – Gov. Nathan Deal today was joined by leaders from Georgia’s tourism industry for the annual Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol to recognize the $59 billion impact of tourism on Georgia’s economy. Representatives from the tourism industry presented Deal with a check representing the $3 billion in state and local tax revenue generated by tourism-related expenditures.
“With a total economic impact of $59 billion, the tourism industry is an integral part of Georgia’s dynamic business sector and continues to be a major economic driver,” said Deal. “Today, this industry sustains more than 439,000 jobs across the state, making up approximately 10.3 percent of our total workforce. Following last year’s ‘Year of Georgia Music’ theme, this year we are celebrating the ‘Year of Georgia Film,’ as Georgia is now the third-busiest hub for film production in the country. The impact of tourism benefits both the state as a whole and local communities, and we are proud of all Georgia has to offer to visitors from around the world.”
In Baldwin County, 2015 tourist spending generated $85 million in direct tourists spending. This spending created $3.4 million in state tax revenues, generated $2.5 million in local/county tax revenues and supported 770 jobs. Each Baldwin County household would need to be taxed an additional $370 per-year to replace taxes generated by tourism economic activity. 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 official 2017 state travel guide, which celebrates the Year of Georgia Film and the local communities that have served as backdrops for movies and television programs for more than 40 years. The full-color, magazine-sized guide highlights the state’s rich film and television heritage, world-class venues and unique festivals.
“Tourism drives employment and economic growth throughout the state, making it a vital component in our economic development success,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia is home to an abundance of unique experiences that set us apart from other destinations.”
The guide features actor and director Ian Somerhalder from “The Vampire Diaries” and provides details on film-related tourist destinations and activities throughout the state. The Year of Georgia Film will be featured on multiple marketing platforms including ExploreGeorgia.org/film, social media channels, marketing materials, advertising opportunities and special events.
“Georgia has become one of the most sought-after filming locations in the world,” said Kevin Langston, GDEcD deputy commissioner for tourism. “Visitors come from all over the world to follow in the footsteps of their favorite movie and TV personalities. Throughout the Year of Georgia Film, we will unveil a number of fun and exciting new ways to experience these locations scattered all over Georgia. Our movie fans are going to love it!”
The state’s official travel guide provides visitors with information on Georgia’s tourism assets including trip ideas, attractions, accommodations and events. More than 700,000 guides are distributed annually through the state’s 12 visitor information centers, travel and trade shows, ExploreGeorgia.org and 1-800-VISIT GA. GDEcD partnered with Atlanta Magazine Custom Media, the award-winning publisher of Atlanta Magazine and Southbound Magazine, to produce the travel guide.
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. For more information, visit www.georgia.org.