Georgia Tourism, a division of The Georgia Department of Economic Development, today announced that the state’s tourism industry generated a record-breaking $66.2 billion in business sales impact in 2018, up 4.7 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.
“The tourism industry is a leading contributor to Georgia’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “Not only does our state welcome a record number of visitors each year, but travel and tourism creates jobs for 471,000 Georgians. The industry’s continued growth reaffirms that travel matters to every community in Georgia and makes our state a great place to live, work and do business.”
According to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, Georgia’s total tourism demand is 46 percent higher than its pre-recession level in 2008. In 2018, travel and tourism generated more than $3.4 billion in tax revenue in Georgia. In addition, every Georgia household would need to be taxed an additional $910 per year to replace the tourism taxes received as a result of the industry’s tax contribution.
“Georgia has quickly become a top travel destination in the world, and was even named one of the ‘50 Best Places to Travel in 2019’ by Travel + Leisure,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “The economic growth and accolades that Georgia has seen would not be possible without the hardworking tourism industry professionals across the state who strive to provide the best travel experiences for our guests through new and improved attractions, innovative marketing and our tried-and-true Southern hospitality.”
Nationally, hundreds of cities, states and travel-related businesses are celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) this week. The annual celebration unites communities across the country to highlight what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. Georgia Tourism is engaging in a National Tourism Week promotion at each of the state’s 11 Visitor Information Centers (VICs). Every customer that walks through one of the Visitor Information Centers between May 5 – 11 will be asked to complete a short form asking why they travel, a market research activity to determine motivations for their visit. As an incentive to answer the question, customers have the chance to win one of seven Georgia State Park Adventure Packages.
“During National Travel and Tourism Week our industry unites to celebrate and shine a spotlight on the powerful impact the tourism industry has in Georgia,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Our destinations, attractions, shops, restaurants, hotels, music venues and tours are some of the best in the world and the people behind them are the reason for our continued and future success.”