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Nov. 2 - Georgia Tourism Reaches New Heights, Breaks Records

by Sam Sachs, Brunswick Business Journal

November 2, 2017 – Several of the state’s top tourism professionals were recognized by Gov. Nathan Deal today at the 2017 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference on Jekyll Island.

More than 400 tourism professionals from across the state of Georgia met at the annual event, hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (GACVB).

“The tourism industry is a vital economic engine for Georgia, as it generated a record-breaking $60.8 billion in economic impact and provided employment for more than 450,000 Georgians last year,” said Deal. “Each year, we welcome more and more visitors to Georgia, largely due to the success of dedicated tourism professionals from Blue Ridge to Valdosta, and from Columbus to Savannah.”

The 2017 award recipients, nominated by the Georgia tourism industry, include:

  • The Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives was awarded to Visit Henry County.
  • The Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award was presented to Julie Musselman with GACVB.
  • The Al Burris Award for Creative Expression was awarded to the Booth Western Art Museum for the HAAS Public School Transportation Fund.
  • The Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation was awarded to the Adventure Lodges of Georgia Program.
  • The Bizl Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Product Development Award was presented to Brews & Q’s Trail, a partnership of the Historic Heartland Travel Association.
  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Private Sector Award was presented to Craig Miller, Craig Miller Productions.
  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Partnership Award was presented to Visit Savannah, the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau and Visit Tybee for the Port Wentworth Visitor Information Center.
  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion in Government was presented to Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry.
  • The Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Bill Chapin, chairman and CEO of See Rock City, Inc.

“The success of the tourism industry would not be possible without the contributions of our tourism partners who work hard to ensure that Georgia is on the minds of travelers around the world,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson.

The next conference will be hosted on Aug. 26-28, 2018 in Atlanta.

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