Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson recently traveled to the United Kingdom with Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Kevin Langston to spread the word about Georgia’s thriving tourism industry. Tourism is one of Georgia’s leading sectors supporting more than 450,000 jobs and generating a yearly economic impact of more than $61.1 billion.
Nearly a million travelers came to Georgia from overseas last year, and they spent more than $3 billion in 2015. The U.K. represents Georgia’s second-largest inbound overseas travel market and visitors from the British Isles are projected to increase by 16% by 2020. More than 174,000 U.K. visitors travel to the Peach State every year seeking out an authentic Southern experience. The unique variety of tourism opportunities Georgia offers, along with easy access through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, make the state an ideal choice for British travelers looking to experience the American south.
While in London, Commissioner Wilson and Deputy Commissioner Langston met with key industry leaders from the Travel Trade Gazette, Trailfinders and British Airways to promote Georgia as a tourism destination and learn more about current trends in the U.K. travel market. Partnering with tourism representatives from North and South Carolina, the commissioner also co-hosted U.K. tourism partners at The Fairway Village hospitality tents at the Wimbledon Championships. The event was a major success, offering them the opportunity to spend time with 16 of the U.K.-based major tour operators who work to promote Georgia as a destination.
In addition to selling Georgia as a tourism hot spot, the Commissioner met with companies that have made significant investments in the state including the Pinewood Studios Group. Pinewood Studios Group represents Georgia’s rise to the top as a film destination. 320 film and television productions shot in Georgia in the past year, including movies filmed at Pinewood Atlanta Studios like Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Georgia-lensed feature film and television productions generated an economic impact of $9.5 billion during fiscal year 2017.