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Sunday, September 22, 2019
   
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Tourism Council Will Put Spotlight on Governmental Action

SBJ Staff

The Savannah Tourism Leadership Council will try to exert more influence on local and state government in 2010, says Charlie Brazil, the council’s incoming president.

The TLC will seek to improve “the voice of our industry on the legislative level” by hosting legislative forums and possibly a gubernatorial forum, Brazil said.

This should help the visitor-sector organization enhance its ability to “to get access to our politicians” and to help “formulate policy that will impact our industry,” he added.

“That’s a big endeavor for us.”

The organization will also seek to help its members understand how to participate in the political world. “We’re really going to mobilize on this,” Brazil said.

The TLC’s advocacy focus will include a pair of priority issues: lobbying the state to spend more money on visitor promotions and narrowing how localities spend hotel/motel tax dollars.

On tourism promotion spending, there’s “room for improvement there,” Brazil said, citing a several-year-old analysis that projected that each dollar spent on visitor promotions generates $7.50 in in-state spending.

The council will also continue efforts to establish “Gateway Savannah”  through enhanced lighting and signage along Interstate 95. “We’re very focused on the gateway issue. … on doing a better job of welcoming” motorists to Savannah.

“We want to make them aware Savannah exists when they are heading to Orlando or to Myrtle Beach.”

The importance of improving Georgia’s welcome centers along I-95 will also be emphasized, according to Brazil.
“We’re trying to make sure legislators know we’re not there with our hand out,” he said. “We’re there trying to be partners (to solutions).”
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