Gov. Deal: Tourism brings in $57.1 billion

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon-Bibb Convention and Visitors Bureau said the county brings in $9 million annually from tourism.

Tuesday was Tourism, Hospitality and Arts Day at the Capitol in Atlanta. Governor Nathan Deal talked about how Georgia’s tourism industry successfully impacts the state. He also unveiled the cover of the 2016 travel guide which celebrates the “Year of Georgia Music.” Macon-Bibb County is featured in the guide.

“The numbers have really climbed in the last couple of years. This year, so far, is looking like a banner year,” explained Robin North from the Macon-Bibb Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Govenor Deal said the state brough in $57.1 billion over the last year from tourism and 10.2 percent of Georgia’s workforce is dedicated to tourism.

“After the Olympics, [the state became] a big deal. People began to look at the south as not just an agricultural belt,” said North.

North said tourism brings in about $9 million a year in local taxes. North added there are about 3,500 jobs directly related to tourism in the county and about $300,000 a year comes from visitor spending.

“We have this tremendous culture. We have music. We have food. We have historic areas. We have museums,” explained North.

All of these features are highlighted in the CVB’s new brand for the city.

“What is it that’s so special about Macon that makes it fun to come and see? ‘Where Soul Live’ really became a no-brainer,” recalled North.

Residents will see signs with the new slogan all over Downtown Macon. North said most of the advertisements are at least 50 miles away from the city in order to draw people into the county.

“If they’re going between Savannah and Atlanta, we will often talk with them. Stop in Macon! It’s a great halfway point to spend the night. Here’s what you can do in five hours,” explained North referring to tactics the CVB uses to encourage tourists to spend a few days in the area.

While the Ocmulgee National Monument remains the number one attraction for visitors, the musical culture is a close second.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News