Brooks County has new tourism plan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Brooks County has new tourism plan

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email  
 
QUITMAN, GA (WALB) –Brooks County brings in millions of dollars in tourism of each year and with a tourism plan some people hope they'll bring in even more.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development provided a tourism strategy for the county and Tuesday night they revealed the results.

Historic buildings and landmarks line the streets of Quitman and that's just a glimpse of the tourism Brooks County has.

"We love the agriculture here of course, the peaches with it being peach season. Brooks County is not only known for their hams historically, but their peaches as well," said Bruce Green, Director of Tourism Development with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is helping Brooks County develop a tourism strategy. They put together a tourism resource team who explored the county and Tuesday night an 18-month plan will be presented.

"It was a gift and we're really the test project in Georgia for the first study of it's kind," said Janie Jones, the Leadership Brooks Facilitator.

The first goal for the county is to establish a vision. They also recommend embracing the camelias.

"Quitman was the home of Betty Sheffield and if anybody knows anything about camelias in America Betty Sheffield is a well known name," said Green.

He says people are already talking about a series of flower festivals since Quitman lies between the Rose City and the Azalea City.

Following through with this tourism strategy will take some work.

"It's going to take identification, unification and vision," said Green. "It's going to take leadership at the local level and of course resources."

"Brooks County brings in about $8.2 million in tourism per year," said Jones. "We'd really like to at least double that."

The Leadership Class of 2009 sponsored this new initiative for Brooks County. They want others to see the hidden treasures the county has to share in agritourism, heritage, and cultural tourism.

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