Tourism grants go to 41 Georgia communities - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tourism grants go to 41 Georgia communities

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News release from the Georgia Department of Economic Development

ATLANTA, November 4, 2009 - The Georgia Department of Economic Development's (GDEcD) Tourism Division awarded co-operative tourism marketing grants to 41 communities, convention & visitor bureaus, regional travel associations and other non-profit tourism entities across the state. A total of $500,000 was awarded.

The program assists communities in reaching a larger audience through marketing projects they may not be able to fund on their own. Awardees must submit a final report showing that their program has met the State's funding criteria prior to their reimbursement.

"The co-op marketing program is a great example of the private and public sectors working together to leverage one another's assets," said Kevin Langston, GDEcD Assistant Commissioner for Tourism.  "By combining our resources, we are able to attract additional visitors to our communities thereby generating private sector revenues along with additional sales and lodging tax revenues."

This year, the Georgia Department of Economic Development received 82 applications with grant requests totaling more than $1.3 million. Funding for the co-op marketing grants program decreased from $1 million in fiscal year 2009 to $500,000 in fiscal year 2010. Independent judges scored the applications based on several factors, including economic impact, project goals and objectives, benefit to the community, positive impact and the ability to attract and service visitors.

Recipients of the 2010 co-op marketing grants include:

Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Altamaha River Partnership

Antebellum Trail

Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau

Atlanta Metro Travel Association

Augusta Canal Authority

Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Classic South Travel Association

Clinch County Tourism Team

Columbia County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau

Coweta County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce

Darien-McIntosh Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Cartersville

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce

Friends of Georgia State Parks - Sam Shortline

Georgia Coast Travel Association

Georgia's Lake Country

Golden Isles Parkway Association

Greater Augusta Sports Council

Historic Heartland Travel Association

Historic High Country Travel Association

Hospital Authority of Valdosta & Lowndes County

Jekyll Island Foundation

Macon Convention & Visitors Bureau

Magnolia Midlands Travel Association

Milledgeville Convention & Visitors Bureau

Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon

Parks at Chehaw, Albany

Presidential Pathways Travel Association

Rabun County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Richmond Hill Convention & Visitors Bureau

Savannah Music Festival

Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce

Upson County Chamber of Commerce

Vidalia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

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 location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. For more information, visit www.georgia.org

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