2017-05-18 / Front Page

Tourism impact breaks record at $61 billion in ’16

Georgia’s tourism industry generated a record-breaking $61.1 billion in business sales including direct, indirect, and induced impact in 2016, up 3.5 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.

“Georgia’s tourism industry impact has shattered records once again. Not only do we welcome millions of visitors each year, but tourism supports employment across multiple industry sectors, employing an estimated 450,000 Georgians statewide,” Governor Nathan Deal said. “Congratulations to Georgia’s tourism industry professionals – it’s our people, our destinations, and our world-famous Southern hospitality that keeps people coming back year after year.”

According to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, Georgia’s total tourism demand now stands 34 percent higher than its pre-recession level in 2008. Visitor spending generated more than $3.2 billion in state and local tax revenue in Georgia. In addition, every Georgia household would need to be taxed an additional $900 per year to replace the tourism taxes received as a result of the industry’s tax contribution.

“Tourism continues to be one of our state’s leading industries, even outpacing the average growth rate nationwide of 2.1 percent,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “These record-setting numbers have a positive impact across the state, impacting every community and household in Georgia by spurring job creation, attracting investment, and providing residents with an improved quality of life.”

“Georgia sees growth in visitation every year, even welcoming a record-breaking 105 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 3 percent,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Leisure travel has been on the rise in Georgia, and to meet this growing demand, our steadfast tourism industry is implementing significant tourism developments across the state, adding more product, jobs and investment.”

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