Explore Georgia, Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) tourism division, announced today that it has awarded more than $75,000 in tourism product development grants to 13 new and expanding projects across the state. The Community Funding Program allows communities to expand, enhance and improve their appeal as a destination for tourists and leverage tourism as a driver of economic impact.
“While Georgia’s tourism industry has felt the painful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing funding for these 13 projects the tourism product development grants will support the safe recovery of the industry throughout the entire state,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “I want to thank our excellent Tourism Product Development resource team for the work they are doing to highlight tourism opportunities in our communities and attract visitors.”
Explore Georgia Tourism Product Development resource teams evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative and unique experiences. This year, Explore Georgia worked to provide more grants to more communities to assist in the tourism industry’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Like any business, a healthy tourism business is one that’s growing in quality and quantity of product worthy of being marketed and promoted,” said Deputy Commissioner of Tourism Mark Jaronski. “Funding is essential to advance many of these projects, and we take great pride in helping Georgia’s communities, especially rural areas, use the power of tourism to attract visitor spending, create jobs, support businesses and generate tax revenues.”
The recommendations and financial support provided through this funding program are designed to spur tourism development activities at the local level that enhance the visitor experience.
In response to receiving grant funding, Twin City’s Mayor Matt Donaldson stated, “As the city continues to be fiscally sound and responsible, state agencies will invest in Twin City. The city is fortunate to be awarded this $8,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The grant is for the creation of the Centennial Park and Trail, which will be located on the old railroad bed in the middle of town.This park is one of the projects planned for the City Centennial in 2021. Stay tuned for more information on the centennial."
Recipients of the 2021 Tourism Product Development Community Funding Program include:
The grant’s review panel consists of members from the public and private sector as well as fellow professionals who are experienced in the tourism industry or the type of grant being reviewed.
About Explore Georgia
Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, is the state’s official destination marketing organization. Through its home office in Atlanta, nine visitor information centers, and a network of representatives across the globe, Explore Georgia inspires travel to and within the state. The division works to advance Georgia’s $66.3 billion tourism industry that supports 478,000 jobs. As home to the biggest cities in the region, the most diverse population, and a geographical range from the mountains to the beach, Georgia has the South’s most unexpected sights and stories. Learn more at ExploreGeorgia.org.
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, aligning workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Learn more at georgia.org.