February 2016                                                                               Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter   
It was terrific to see so many of you last week for the Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol! Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to come to Atlanta to support our industry, and even more importantly, to meet with your elected representatives to let them know that you need their support. This legislative session is moving quickly, so staying in touch with legislators throughout the session (and throughout the year) is especially important. If you have not done so already, please reach out to Morgan Law at the new Georgia Travel Association. You can reach him on Twitter @MorganBLaw. Morgan is helping to lead the charge as the tourism industry's eyes and ears at the Capitol this year, and I know he will appreciate your support. Here's to an early Spring!

Kevin

Top News Items from Georgia Tourism

  1. Get involved in the Year of Georgia Music 
    Throughout 2016, the Georgia Tourism team will concentrate digital, social, public relations and sales efforts on promoting live music -- music festivals and events -- as well as the attractions, exhibits, tours and landmarks that allow visitors to experience Georgia music past and present. We invite you to join us in this effort by promoting 2016 as the "Year of Georgia Music." Read more about the campaign, and download resources you can use to promote your destinations to Georgia travelers!

  2. Gov. Deal touts economic impact of Georgia tourism industry
    At the annual Tourism, Hospitality and Arts Day at the Capitol on Jan. 26, representatives from the tourism industry presented Gov. Deal with a check representing the $3 billion in state and local tax revenue generated from tourism-related expenditures. Deal also unveiled the cover of the official 2016 State Travel Guidewhich celebrates the "Year of Georgia Music." Read all about the day's events!

  3. The Atlanta Airport Visitor Information Center is now open
    On Jan. 26, Georgia Tourism in partnership with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiled the state's newest Visitor Information Center at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The VIC is located at the top of the arrival escalators, allowing travelers to access travel information before or after visiting baggage claim. See photos from the ribbon-cutting event, and be sure to stop into the center the next time you're at the airport!

  4. Download resources from the Interactive Marketing Workshop
    On Jan. 25, as part of Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol, the GDEcD Interactive Communications Team led a workshop detailing how tourism partners can use digital communication methods and work with the state to promote their destinations to Georgia travelers. Find links to resources mentioned during the presentation, including the complete slide deck, on MarketGeorgia.org.

  5. Register to attend the 2016 Regional Visitor Information Center Workshop
    Online registration is open for the 2016 Regional Visitor Information Center (RVIC) workshop to be held at Lanier Islands Resort March 28-30, 2016. Tourism professionals from Georgia's Visitor Information Centers (VICs) and RVICs are invited to explore ways to work together to promote the State of Georgia, be involved in best practice sessions and engage in networking opportunities, and learn about tools available for little or no cost to market and promote your destination. Register for $125 by Feb. 29.

  6. Major tourism developments will draw visitors and economic impact to Macon
    On Feb. 9, Georgia Tourism announced that Macon-Bibb County is experiencing a tourism development renaissance with six new tourism projects investing more than $50 million in the community. The developments include a new downtown hotel, preservation of the historic Capricorn Studios, a new hotel and restaurant development on Mercer University's campus, a 10-acre water park and more. Read all about the investments on MarketGeorgia.org.

  7. Georgia Tourism staff spotlight: Stella Xu, Director for China Initiatives, Global Commerce and Tourism
    Stella Xu is responsible for China Initiatives for both Global Commerce and Tourism. Known for a posse of interns who change intermittently throughout the year, she rules her students with an iron fist and an incredible gift for getting them well prepared for any career path they choose. We were delighted to welcome her as an American citizen in 2014. She and her daughter, Peace, and husband, Hank, live in Gwinnett County. Tell Stella thanks for her hard work at sxu@georgia.org.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming tourism events
  1. Feb. 15-19:  Georgia Small Business Week. If you are a small business or want to share some love about your favorite business, use #GASmallBiz on social media.
  2. Feb. 22: Film Day at the Capitol. Help promote #GAFilmDay on social media!
  3. Feb. 28-March 2: GACVB Winter Meeting in Columbus
  4. March 6-7: Winter Chautauqua Tourism Conference, The Ridges, Hiawasee, GA
  5. March 28-30:  2016 RVIC Workshop at Lanier Islands Resort.

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