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City leaders showcase Albany

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

September 10, 2008

DOWNTOWN ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia tourism experts responsible for drawing visitors to the Peach State, got a look at what downtown Albany has to offer on Wednesday.

The city is hosting the 2008 Governor's Conference on Tourism.

The revitalization in downtown Albany seems to be paying off, for the next few days state, and economic development leaders here will swap ideas on how to increase tourism in Georgia.

"The revitalization looks like it's trying to get started on the historic side, I think the aquarium is very neat, some of the things I've never seen before, that was a neat experience," said Jeanine Cook, Douglasville.

Jeanine Cook says as a first time visitor to Albany, she likes what she sees.

"My hotel looks out on the Ray Charles exhibit which is gorgeous, but hopefully I'll be able to see it when it lights up," said Mayor Willie Adams, City Of Albany.

And that's just what officials want to hear.

"We have an obligation not only to the people who live in Albany, but the cultural and education center for all of southwest Georgia," said

"The leadership of the state wouldn't be here, particularly this industry if we weren't doing something right in tourism, and with some of our venues, the Flint RiverQuarium and the Thronateeska Center and the new Bridge House," said Jeff Sinyard, Dougherty County Commission Chairman.

The more than 300 visitors at the conference visited the Ray Charles plaza, and other major attractions, including a preview of the Weatherbee Planetarium and Science Museum, which is nearly complete.

"You know it's that stay vacation idea now, people don't want to travel too far to do anything,  everything so far in Albany has been in walking distance so that's great," said Cook.

"This is a huge, huge issue for us, tourism is a major part of our growth. We must understand that if we do the things that our folks are learning at this conference, and continue to do the things we've done in the past in terms of trying to grow tourism, we're going to have a very successful formula," said Sinyard.

A formula which could equal more to see and do in and around Albany.

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