Georgia Welcomed More Than 100 Million Visitors in 2015
Industry impact generates $58.9 billion in economic impact
ATLANTA, June 28, 2016 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division announced today that Georgia welcomed an estimated 102.4 million visitors in 2015, an increase of 3.7 percent.
“Congratulations to Georgia’s entire tourism industry on this incredible achievement,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Tourism is one of our most important industries, impacting communities from the North Georgia mountains to our Golden Isles and from the Chattahoochee to the Savannah River. Not only is Georgia a top vacation destination, but our tourism industry assets provide a robust quality of life for Georgians.”
Since 2012 travel has been on the rise in Georgia, adding nearly 14.76 million domestic travelers to the market, according to D.K. Shifflet & Associates. These visitors are coming from surrounding states including Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Texas.
“Achieving record visitation does not happen by accident, it is the direct result of the strong alliance between state and local tourism industry partners. Thanks to their dedication to the industry Georgia is on the minds of so many travelers from around the world,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner of tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “With more tourism product being added across the state each year, there is no doubt that the tourism industry will only continue to grow.”
Visitor spending in Georgia has also seen record highs as the state’s tourism industry generated $58.9 billion in business sales including direct, indirect and induced impact in 2015, up 3 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics. Georgia’s tourism industry is also a significant driver of jobs across many industry sectors, employing an estimated 439,000 Georgians statewide, making up 10.3 percent of all non-farm jobs in the state.
In addition, Georgia’s hotel occupancy and revenue has seen continued growth, both set all-time highs in 2015. According STR, hotel occupancy for the year reached 64.38 percent, surpassing the previous 2014 high of 62.43 percent. Georgia’s hotels sold a record 41.7 million rooms with a 3.7 percent increase and a record $3.9 billion in revenue.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. www.georgia.org