Stefanie Paupeck
Georgia Department of Economic Development



Paula Deen Featured on the Cover of Georgia's Travel Guide

Georgia Tourism Industry gathers at the Capitol for annual Tourism Day event


ATLANTA (January 25, 2011) -Georgia tourism industry professionals gathered today for the annual Tourism Day at the Capitol event to celebrate the significant role tourism plays in Georgia's economy. Representatives from the tourism industry presented Governor Deal with a check representing the $816.3 million in state tax revenue generated from tourism-related expenditures in 2009.

"In 2009, tourism generated more than $31.3 billion in total economic impact for the state underscoring the industry's significance in our state," said Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  "The Georgia tourism industry not only contributed more than $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue, but employed 234,000 Georgians during the same time period."

 Governor Deal also unveiled the new 2011 annual Georgia Travel Guide. This full-color, magazine-size guide features Georgia's own Paula, Jamie and Bobby Deen on the cover photographed at Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah. The guide provides visitors with information on Georgia's tourism assets including attractions, accommodations, events, driving trails, and more. The 750,000 guides are distributed through the state's 11 Visitor Information Centers,, travel and trade shows and 1-800-VISIT GA. The Georgia Department of Economic Development partnered with Emmis Custom Publishing, (publisher of Atlanta Magazine), on the Georgia Travel Guide. 

The U.S. Travel Association's 2009 Economic Impact Report indicates that tourists spent $19.4 billion in Georgia, with $17.5 billion spent by U.S. travelers and $1.8 billion by international visitors. Georgia ranks eighth in the U.S. for spending by domestic travelers. In 2010, Georgia ranked as the second fastest growing U.S. destination for international travelers, with a 9% increase. Georgia's Visitor Information Centers served 11 million travelers last year and booked more than 30,000 room nights in Georgia hotels.

 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 location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. For more information, visit