Buzzell: Learn about importance of tourism at one-day seminar

April 30, 2014 

If you knew that for every dollar spent in advertising and promotion there would be an $8 return on your investment, that would be a good business to invest in, right?

If a business saved each and every Georgia household $767 last year in state and local taxes as a result of its contribution to the economy, that would also be a good thing.

The good news from the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus is that tourism is a vital part of the Georgia and local economy and makes both of those claims based on recent statistics.

In fact, tourism ranks in the top industries for Georgia along with retail trade, health care, manufacturing and administration and waste management.

The fact is more than 405,000 jobs in Georgia are sustained either directly or indirectly by tourism activities making the industry responsible for 10.2 percent of all jobs in the state -- that is, 1 in 10 jobs in Georgia is being sustained by tourism activities.

In Houston County, that translates to 1,890 jobs being related to the tourism industry. Recent data show that statewide the industry generated $51.2 billion, up 4.6 percent from the previous year.

It makes sense, then, that the more that is invested in developing and promoting attractions, festivals and events, the greater the visitation and, therefore, the greater the revenues returned to the community.

To learn more about the importance of tourism to the Robins region, there will be a one-day seminar May 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch included, presented by Judy Randall, president/CEO of Randall Travel Marketing, Inc.

The seminar is intended for chambers of commerce, CVBs, hotels, restaurants, attractions, economic developers, elected officials and anyone interested in the growth of the local economy.

The seminar will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 589 Carl Vinson Parkway, Warner Robins. The agenda includes 2014 Top Trends in Travel & Tourism: Implications for Georgia’s Heartland and It All Begins with Research: a How-To Session to use Research for Marketing to Drive Growth.

Make your reservation by calling 888-288-9742 or 478-922-5100. The fee is $45 each or $35 each for members of Georgia’s Historic Heartland Travel Association. Payment should be mailed to Historic Heartland Travel Association, P.O. Box 1322, Perry, Ga., 31069.

Judy Randall has spent more than 25 years in the tourism industry focusing on research and education. She has conducted comprehensive visitor research studies for the industry in over 150 small, medium and large destinations.

Since 1995, she has co-authored with Dr. Larry Gustke Top Ten Trends in Travel and Tourism which is published annually. Judy is a much sought after speaker and has spoken at numerous U.S. and international conferences. She is one of the key professors at the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College.

Marsha Priest Buzzell is executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau. Contact her at 478-922-5100 or cvb@wrga.gov.

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