AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Tourism is booming in Sumter County, and that's helping a lot of businesses.
Right now, is what they call festival season, so folks from all over have been coming and spending money almost every weekend.
But even before this busy month, tourism was up.
From the Ride Home event, to the Peanut Festival, September is a busy month for folks in Sumter County.
"When the fall hits we get an enormous amount of activity in Americus and Sumter county," said Nema Etheridge, marketing and sales manager, Cafe Campesino.
The Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel in downtown has been packed with visitors.
"This summer you know we had a pretty good, more than double tourists," said Sharad Patel, owner. "Mostly every weekend we are booked, and thank God. We needed that."
But now isn't the only busy time. In fact tourism has been up throughout this year.
In July alone, the tourism office saw more than 800 visitors, more than double the number from last July.
"People are traveling differently, one of the things we are discovering is who is actually coming to our community and about 48 percent is generation X and we are finding that they are spending almost 600 dollars a day when they go to a community which is wonderful," said Tourism director Nicole Thurston.
Thurston said they are seeing more families who just want to get away for the weekend.
"Families are looking for a different type of vacation. They are looking for a longer weekend trips, they are staying within the communities, they are going to small towns, places they have never been so that makes us the perfect little melting pot for everything to come together," said Thurston.
Sumter County is home to historic Plains and Andersonville and so much more.
"I think people don't realize the tourism assets that are in this county and they are really exceptional for a county our size," said Etheridge.
"What used to be a bit of a secret of a jewel is now becoming a place where people want to come and experience for themselves," said Thurston.
The boost in tourism is not only benefiting businesses, last year each household received about $225 in tax relief as a result of taxes generated by tourism activity.