Chattooga Chamber Receives Marketing Grant for Explore Georgia Tourism Revival
The Chattooga Chamber announced today that it has received a tourism revival marketing grant from Explore Georgia, the state tourism board within the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program supports marketing efforts to strengthen the recovery of the Georgian tourism industry after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chattooga Chamber was one of 34 tourism entities from 27 counties that received a combined total of nearly $ 1.5 million in recovery marketing funding under this unique grant program.
Governor Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly approved $ 1 million in the amended state budget for fiscal year 21 for the resumption of tourism. Due to the large number of grant applications – from 58 organizations totaling nearly $ 2.5 million in funding requests – Explore Georgia contributed an additional $ 1 million from the state’s tourism marketing budget to fund as many grants as possible. The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing program also includes $ 500,000 in cooperative matching funds, for a total of $ 2 million in recovery support.
The Chattooga Chamber, acting as the marketing arm for the entire county, including the county’s tourist attractions, sites, community events and outdoor activities, offers the following marketing plan for 2021-2022. Our mission is to promote the common interest of our members, stimulate the growing regional economy and improve the quality of life for all. Our goal for this marketing plan is to improve the economic footprint with respect to tourism by promoting our attractions and our businesses.
We have our 3 big attractions: Sloppy Floyd State Park, Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden and Summerville Historic Depot & Turntable with Main Street events and train tours. Other attractions include kayak launches on the Chattooga River, the Trade Day flea market, and parks in each of our four municipalities.
“We are thrilled with this opportunity to increase our promotion of Chattooga County, our businesses and all that we have to offer,” said Sole Commissioner Blake Elsberry.
“Georgia is a beautiful state and as we continue to recover, I look forward to working alongside our industry partners to promote the state’s incredible tourism assets to travelers around the world.” said Pat Wilson, GDEcD commissioner. “These grants are an important tool for our industry organizations, the majority of which are small businesses, to begin their recovery efforts. We are committed to rebuilding travel and tourism in our state, as Georgia’s diverse economy cannot fully recover until our tourism and hospitality industry is once again flourishing.
The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program was designed to provide relief to areas of the state most affected by the decline in tourism and will fund promotional efforts to help the travel industry recover in 2021. The grants awarded have been awarded to prioritized the organizations and communities that have experienced the greatest impact of lost visitors and subsequent tourism spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we head into a summer where we expect to see a tremendous re-emergence of domestic tourism and the economic prosperity that travel brings, funding for these grants recognizes the importance of communicating the diversity of visitor experiences through the Georgia which are close to home for so many Americans ”, said Mark Jaronski, deputy tourism commissioner at GDEcD. “Through a great working relationship with our destination marketing partners across the state, we believe we can be more effective in what should be an incredibly competitive landscape by promoting Georgia to the American public and by completing the State’s tourism revival campaign. Ready. Together. Georgia.“
Claims were assessed against need, quantified by the year-over-year loss of hotel and motel excise tax collections for the organization and by the evolution of unemployment in the County of the organization. Grant recipients received 100% of the scholarship amount requested in their application.
About Chattooga Chamber
The mission of the Chattooga Chamber is to promote the common interest of our members, stimulate the growing regional economy and improve the quality of life for all. We achieve our goals by working within the community in all areas: business, industry, government, tourism and outreach organizations. We connect our members with the tools and resources needed to be successful, and we fully support and help lead economic development in Chattooga County.
About Explore Georgia
Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development is the state’s official destination marketing organization. Through its headquarters in Atlanta, nine Travel Information Centers across Georgia, and a network of tourism representatives around the world, Explore Georgia inspires travel to and within the state through programs marketing programs developed and executed in partnership with the state’s travel industry. The division works to advance Georgia’s tourism industry, which was worth $ 69 billion and supported more than 484,000 jobs in 2019. Learn more aboutExploreGeorgia.org.
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 new markets for Georgian products, attract tourists to Georgia and promote the state as a destination for the arts and venue for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing resources for the state for economic development. Visit www.georgia.org for more information.