Tourism industry celebrates $61.1 billion in impact during National Travel and Tourism Week

ATLANTA, May 9, 2017 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development announced today that the state’s tourism industry generated a record-breaking $61.1 billion in business sales including direct, indirect and induced impact in 2016, up 3.5 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.

“Georgia’s tourism industry impact has shattered records once again. Not only do we welcome millions of visitors each year, but tourism supports employment across multiple industry sectors, employing an estimated 450,000 Georgians statewide,” said Governor Deal. “Congratulations to Georgia’s tourism industry professionals – it’s our people, our destinations and our world famous southern hospitality that keeps people coming back year after year.”

According to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, Georgia’s total tourism demand now stands 34 percent higher than its pre-recession level in 2008. Visitor spending generated more than $3.2 billion in state and local tax revenue in Georgia. In addition, every Georgia household would need to be taxed an additional $900 per year to replace the tourism taxes received as a result of the industry’s tax contribution.

“Tourism continues to be one of our state’s leading industries, even outpacing the average growth rate nationwide of 2.1 percent,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “These record-setting numbers have a positive impact across the state, impacting every community and household in Georgia by spurring job creation, attracting investment, and providing residents with an improved quality of life.”

Tourism organizations are holding events this week to celebrate what the tourism industry means to communities in Georgia. Nationally, hundreds of cities, states and travel-related businesses are recognizing the annual National Travel and Tourism Week, to be held May 7-13, 2017. Designated by Congress and established by presidential proclamation in 1983, National Tourism Week celebrates the value and scope of the nation’s $2.3 trillion travel and tourism industry, and the economic and social contributions it brings to Georgia. This year’s theme shines a spotlight on the power of travel by recognizing the millions of people who keep this industry strong, the “Faces of Travel.” This week long event encourages the travel community to be creative and have fun as they tailor it to reflect the unique value and impact of the industry. For more information about National Travel and Tourism Week, visit

“Georgia sees growth in visitation every year, even welcoming a record-breaking 105 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 3 percent,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Leisure travel has been on the rise in Georgia, and to meet this growing demand, our steadfast tourism industry is implementing significant tourism developments across the state, adding more product, jobs and investment.”

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.