ATHENS, GA (Jan. 21, 2020) –The Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Director Chuck Jones and Athens CVB Sales Manager Jeremiah Cook joined Governor Brian P. Kemp and other professionals from across Georgia, for the annual Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 21 to recognize the record-breaking year in tourism.

The state welcomed 111.7 million international and domestic visitors in 2018, who collectively spent $36.9 billion in communities throughout the state and directly supported 478,000 jobs. 

Governor Kemp was presented with a check from industry leaders representing the $3.4 billion in state and local tax revenue generated by tourism-related expenditures in 2018.

“As visitors continue to discover Georgia’s unexpected destinations that range from the North Georgia Mountains to Cumberland Island, our economy continues to grow, new jobs are created, and our communities thrive,” said Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The tourism, hospitality, and arts industries are constantly propelling our state’s places, culture, stories, and people to the forefront – showing the world why Georgia is the best place to vacation, live, and do business.”

For Athens-Clarke County, visitors generated a total of $330.5 million in direct, tourism spending according to the “2018 Travel Economic Impact on Georgia State, Counties and Regions” study prepared for Explore Georgia by the United States Travel Association. Tourism in Athens-Clarke County supported 2,973 jobs with $69.93 million in payroll as well as $13.71 million in state tax and $8.89 million in local tax.

The new 2020 Explore Georgia Travel Guide was unveiled by Explore Georgia and features photos taken by visitors—user-generated photos—as they experienced the state for the first time. This is the first Georgia travel guide cover to use images sourced directly from real visitors sharing their personal experiences in Georgia. The guide offers visitors inspiration and information on Georgia’s best destinations, including trip ideas, attractions and events to encourage more people to explore Georgia.


About Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau:

The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proactive sales and marketing organization whose primary goal is to increase the economic impact of the hospitality and visitor industry by attracting individual visitors, group tours and meetings and conventions to Athens. Tourism WORKS for Athens, contributing $330.5 million in spending, 2,973 jobs and $22.6 million in local and state tax revenue in 2018.