“The Northwest region has seen a 10 percent increase in tourism activity this year compared to last year,” Grubbs said. “That’s encouraging news.
Grubbs was among more than 400 tourism professionals from around the state meeting in Athens this week with industry leaders and state officials to discuss the state of the tourism trade in Georgia.
The joint tourism industry conference was hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (GACVB) and the Tourism Development Alliance of Georgia (TDAG) in Athens from Monday through Wednesday.
Grubbs attended conferences on techno-tourism and Civil War tourism in Georgia and received copies of the state’s new brochure, “Georgia’s Guide to the Civil War.” 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
She also attended a panel discussion on the economic development aspects of tourism and the state’s plan to streamline hotel/motel tax collections.
Gov. Sonny Perdue delivered the keynote address for the final luncheon Wednesday and touted the industry as one of the most important in Georgia.
“Our state’s tourism economy ranks eighth in the nation and second in the Southeast,” said Perdue. “This conference epitomizes what Georgia tourism is about — everyone moving in the same direction to grow this industry and make Georgia a premier travel destination.”
In addition to learning about issues currently facing the industry, the conference also served to educate attendees on emerging trends and future initiatives. Speakers included Horst Schulze, founder of Ritz-Carlton, and Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association.