Explore Georgia Awards Funding to Seven Tourism Projects

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

Explore Georgia, the state tourism office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced that it has awarded more than $64,000 in tourism product development grants to seven new and expanding projects across the state.  

“The addition of new tourism product can completely transform a community and create lasting economic growth by spurring job creation, attracting new investment and providing residents with an improved quality of life,” said Pat Wilson Commissioner for GDECD. “I applaud each of these projects and community leaders for seeing the value that tourism can bring not only to their local communities but to the state as a whole.” 

In an effort to support and encourage Georgia’s tourism entities to create new tourism product, Explore Georgia offers this grant to communities who participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development Resource Team program. The Tourism Product Development Resource Team program works to evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative and unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage. 

“The creation of new tourism product is essential to increasing travel throughout the state by attracting new visitors and encouraging locals to see all that Georgia has to offer, and this year’s awardees showcase the state’s incredible assets that are waiting to be explored,” said Lisa Love, Interim Deputy Commissioner for Explore Georgia. “Funding is the greatest need for these projects to get off the ground, and we are proud to have this program to assist communities with implementing new product that will drive visitors and expand their local tourism industry.” 

The Tourism Product Development Resource Team Community Funding Program allows the communities served to build new product from the recommendations made by the Tourism Product Development Resource Team members or supports projects the community has developed as an expansion of the resource team’s recommendations. The recommendations and financial support provided through this funding program are designed to spur tourism development activities at the local level that maintain and create jobs, attract tourists, and enhance the visitor experience.  

Recipients of the 2020 Tourism Product Development Funding Program include:

Athens DDA, Athens Music Walk of Fame

Conyers DDA, Grey Ghost Brewing Company

Putnam County DA, Georgia’s Writers Museum

City of Norcross, Historic Downtown Norcross Tour Project

DA of McDuffie County, Historic Pews & Pulpits Self-Guided Tour Brochure

City of Calhoun DDA, Freight & Rail Brewing Company     

City of Tifton, Southern Drawl Cotton Georgia Grown Retail Experiment  

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.