The Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) held its annual meeting Tuesday, October 17, highlighted by the release of new economic impact figures for Athens-Clarke County and the presentation of the annual Athens Hospitality Awards.
Visitors to Athens-Clarke County spent $292.30 million in direct domestic spending in 2016, a 3.9% increase over the previous year, according to the 2016 Travel Economic Impact on Georgia State, Counties and Regions study prepared for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) by the United States Travel Association (USTA). Tourism in Athens-Clarke County generated 2,740 jobs with a $61.01 million payroll, as well as $12.22 million in state tax and $7.95 million in local tax collections. Total state and local taxes of $20.17 million were collected from visitor spending. Each household in Clarke County would need to be taxed an additional $465 per year to replace the state and local taxes generated by direct domestic spending alone. Though final numbers for total tourism impacts for 2016 are not yet available, prior years have demonstrated that when we include domestic and international visitors, with both direct and indirect impacts included, that tax relief figure almost doubles.