Visitor numbers in Albany are up, along with hotel occupancy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Visitor numbers in Albany are up, along with hotel occupancy

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More people are visiting Albany.

This week, the city is benefiting from the overflow crowd from the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, but better convention numbers are really driving the trend.

Putting heads in beds. It sounds like a simple concept but it can have a huge impact on Albany's economy, just by bringing visitors and events including conventions to town.

"Last year equaled up to 10.7 million dollars in economic impact for our area, that doesn't include people who just come by and visit our area for the weekend," said Rashelle Beasley, Albany CVB Interim Director.

With the biggest economic weekend yet to come next week with Albany State's homecoming, tourism officials say this year promises to be one of the best for tourism.

"Tourism is economic development and really is kind of the easiest economic development because we're very proud of where we are and everything we have to offer," said Beasley.

Year to date hotel revenue is up 10.7 percent a huge boost to Albany.

"What really helps are those extra pushes when we do have a convention on the weekend because a lot of our business is weekday business," said Bo Henry, Merry Acres Owner.

The Jehovah Witnesses conferences the past two weekends at the Civic Center are a good example. Digging deeper we found International travelers are taking to the Good Life City.

"Right now we're seeing a 23 percent increase here in Albany in international visitors, the state of Georgia alone is only seeing a 11 percent increase," said Beasley.

It's nothing special we're doing, word is getting out Albany isn't a bad place to visit.

"The area, they love the area, the agriculture," said Beasley.

And the wide open space that we sometimes take for granted.

Tourism officials say when more people visit town, it boosts the tax base.

Higher revenue could potentially lead to lower taxes for people who live here.

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