As Georgia and our local destinations emerge from the pandemic and welcome back visitors, it’s time to turn the page and look ahead—to imagine a future for Georgia’s travel industry that is bold and imaginative, competitive and helps small businesses thrive.
This National Travel and Tourism Week (May 1-7), the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (GACVB) and our industry partners recognize the Future of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in rebuilding our local economy, fostering sustainability, ushering in new innovations and reconnecting Americans to each other and the world.
It is also an opportunity to remind lawmakers of the incredible value travel holds for America’s future growth and success as we move beyond the pandemic.
Travel is such an important part of who we are as a community. Before the pandemic, Georgia’s travel and tourism industry had a $69.0 Billion total economic impact supporting 484,000 jobs.* Nationally, travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S. in 2019—proof that travel will have an outsized role to play in Georgia and America’s economic recovery.
This vital revenue source was severely diminished amid the pandemic. To help return our industry to sustained growth, it is crucial that lawmakers prioritize policies to facilitate a more prosperous future for the millions of workers whose livelihoods depend on this industry.
The future of travel is sustainable
Georgia attracts 152.2 million* many of whom visit natural and historic sites. Protecting these treasures locally—and restoring other sites such as national parks, national forests, beaches and natural attractions—ensures they can be enjoyed for generations to come. Travel and sustainability can complement one another. With the right tools in place, travelers can see and experience our country—and protect it.
The future of travel is innovative
Infrastructure investments in roads, airports, transit and passenger rail are key to making it easier to access destinations and attractions. New transportation technologies like high-speed rail, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and other innovative technologies can improve travel
times and attract more visitors to Georgia destinations.
The future of travel is seamless
While we’ve all grown accustomed to the ease of virtual meetings, travel and in-person meetings and events should be just as simple. Biometrics, improved baggage checks and ticketing services and other technological advancements make the travel process more secure and efficient. As American workers look to hit the road again, lawmakers should continue to champion these innovations as integral to restarting business travel.
The future of travel is globally competitive
Promoting America as a premier destination for global travelers is more important than ever as we recover from steep losses. Lawmakers should continue to advocate for funding for destination marketing organizations like our state tourism office, Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development as well as Georgia’s local convention and visitors bureaus so we can welcome back visitors from near and far.
The pandemic was a setback, but it’s also an opportunity to reimagine the travel industry. If lawmakers plan for the future by prioritizing these policies today, businesses in Georgia can recover more quickly and rebuild the travel industry to be more dynamic, innovative, sustainable
and competitive than ever before.
* Explore Georgia, the state tourism office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD).
Travel Media Showcase is one of the premier events offering top travel industry professionals and travel journalists the rare opportunity to meet one-on-one, at a single location, for the purpose of exchanging information and developing personal contacts. Dozens of destination writers, broadcast travel journalists and vacation bloggers from all over the United States gathered in Atlanta last week to meet with tourism experts pitching unique story ideas from their areas.
Visit Statesboro’s Executive Director Becky Davis and Marketing Director Justin Samples were among the exhibitors at this year’s event. The three-day program included two days of scheduled journalist/exhibitor appointment sessions, regional press tours, plus numerous other networking opportunities.
Davis compared the showcase to speed dating with a twist. “We researched the profiles of attending writers and geared our Statesboro pitch toward their area of expertise and our desired audience. Justin and I made some great connections with writers that we will definitely be inviting to visit Statesboro.”
Visit Statesboro (Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau) is an accredited Regional Visitor Information Center and the official destination marketing organization for Statesboro and Bulloch County. The staff is dedicated to promoting tourism by attracting more visitors, meetings, groups, and events to the area through destination marketing.
Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (GACVB) Announces Partnership with Pineapple Public Relations
The Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (GACVB) is proud to announce a strategic partnership with long-standing tourism industry PR firm, Pineapple Public Relations. The partnership will support GACVB in creating and promoting awareness of Georgia’s destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and their contributions to the state’s economy and quality of life for both residents and visitors via industry education, professional development, and legislative awareness.
“GACVB is committed to being the voice for our destination marketing organizations and tourism industry professionals. Through this partnership, we look forward to communicating and advocating
news of our members and their contributions to Georgia’s tourism-based economic development, industry trends, and legislation that potentially affects our hospitality communities,” said Jay Markwalter, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Pineapple PR brings a unique understanding of Georgia’s tourism industry through their decades of work with numerous destinations across the state and beyond. Their reputation for best-in-class service and skill is something that we are excited to bring to GACVB. We welcome the Pineapple PR team as one of our newest Ally Members at the Sustaining Level partnership.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of GACVB, the exciting future of this organization and the many communities across the state. Working with DMOs and CVBs to share news and stories that further enhance economic growth dovetails with our own mission statement, and we look forward working to increase awareness and visitation to Georgia,” said Deborah Stone, President of Pineapple PR.
Pineapple Public Relations is a full-service PR agency with more than 20 years of success in serving large and small businesses in the tourism, hospitality and lifestyle industries and helping them achieve economic success. The agency provides forward-thinking, results-based strategies backed by superior service and experience, offering big agency capabilities with the responsiveness and attentiveness of an independent, hands-on firm. Founded on three principals – excellence in service, a passion for travel and a never-ending quest to successfully and creatively tell clients’ stories – Pineapple PR offers a full-suite of traditional, digital and social media services.
The Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus is an organization comprised of 90+ diverse tourism bureaus throughout the state of Georgia and associate members who provide services and support to the CVB community. The organization provides a unified voice of Georgia’s destination marketing organizations as well as industry education and professional development opportunities to members. GACVB represents members across the state and country to keep Georgia’s tourism industry at the forefront of developments, trends, products and services that may benefit its members, partners and ultimately communities.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Jay Markwalter, Executive Director
Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus
Deborah M. Stone, President
Pineapple Public Relations
(404) 237-3761, ext. 1001
The Georgia Southern Theatre presents the first production of the Spring semester “BUG” written by Tracy Letts.
“Bug” is a dark comedy takes place in a seedy motel room outside Oklahoma City, where Agnes, a drug-addled cocktail waitress, is hiding from her ex-con ex-husband. She meets Peter, a handsome drifter with a secret past. Tracy Letts’s tale of love, paranoia, and government conspiracy is a thought-provoking psycho-thriller that mixes terror and laughter at a fever pitch.
Directed by Lisa L. Abbott, “Bug” explores the depth of human weakness and is a showcase of the madness and fear that plagues conspiracy theorists while focusing on issues of love, paranoia, drugs, conspiracy theories, psychological trauma, and Agnes’s slow descent into insanity under Peter’s influence.
The author, Tracy Letts is an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. He is best known for his award-winning play (2007) and film (2013) titled “August: Osage County”. “Bug” was first produced in London in 1996 and was adapted for the screen by Tracy Letts in 2006. He has also featured in various plays, movies and Television shows including “Homeland” (2013), “The Big Short” (2015) and his Broadway debut in 2012 as George in “Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” For which he won a Tony award in 2013.
Georgia Southern Theatre will be showing “Bug” on Wednesday, February 27 through Wednesday, March 6, 2019. No performance on Monday night, March 4th. Curtain for all evening performances is at 7:30 pm (The Sunday Matinee is on March 3rd at 2 pm). They encourage audience members to arrive at least 15 minutes early as all seats are open admission. “Bug” is intended only for mature audiences.
Ticket prices are $12 for general admission and $6 for Students, Seniors, and Members of the Military. Group rates are available. Contact the box office at 912-478-5379 to make reservations. Reservation requests can be left on the box office voicemail 24-hours a day.
The box office is located at the Center for Arts and Theatre and is open in the afternoons Monday through Friday till 5 pm for ticket purchases and reopens at 6 pm on performance days. Tickets can also be purchased through the Marketplace on the GSU website at http:/class.georgiasouthern.
For more information email them at [email protected]
From the coast to the mountains and everything in between, Georgia’s nine travel regions offer well-known and off-the-beaten path gems in cities both big and small. Statesboro is sitting pretty in the Magnolia Midlands region which is known for a variety of historic, outdoor and culinary attractions so we would love to see a local recipe featured on the official 2018 Magnolia Midlands tourism rack card. The winning recipe will be seen by thousands of travelers hungry for local flavor! Think you’ve got a winning dish with great taste and a colorful story? Share it with us! This contest is open to individuals & restaurants with no limit on the number of submissions.
- Winning recipe chosen by description of dish and descriptive story
- Recipes can include local products but this is not a requirement
- Submission format: Dish name, story/description (no more than 100 words), ingredients, mixing & cooking instructions, photo of dish
- Submissions must be emailed to [email protected] by July 11, 2018
(Submissions may be used to showcase culinary tourism or local products in Statesboro & Bulloch County.)