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Georgia Tourism Awards Funding to 13 Tourism Projects

Grant Program provides financial support to Product Development Resource Team Communities

ATLANTA, July 27, 2016 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism division announced today that it has awarded more than $85,275 in product development agreements to 13 new and expanding tourism projects across the state.

In an effort to further tourism product development within the state, Georgia Tourism offers this grant to communities who participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development Resource Team program as a way to build product outlined in the resource team’s reports. The Tourism Product Development Resource Team program works to evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative and unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage.

“The Tourism Product Development Resource Team has streamlined its initiative in assisting our communities with funding, which is one of the greatest needs in fortifying tourism product development in Georgia,” said Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “By providing funds to projects that we help inspire, we are jump-starting tourism economic development across the state, helping to not only grow Georgia’s tourism offerings, but also creating jobs and sustainable economic development in these communities.”

Georgia Tourism’s Product Development team has served 31 counties, cities, private for-profits and non-profits throughout the state in areas ranging from agritourism to downtown development.

The Tourism Product Development Resource Team Community Funding Program allows the communities served to build new product from the recommendations made by the Tourism Product Development Resource Team members or supports projects the community has developed as an expansion of the resource team’s recommendations. The recommendations and financial support provided through this funding program is designed to spur tourism development activities at the local level that maintain and create jobs, attract tourists, and enhance the visitor experience.

Recipients of the 2016 Tourism Product Development Funding Program include:

• Adel-Cook County Tourism Authority – Letters from a Confederate Soldier
• Berrien County Chamber of Commerce – Nashville South Jams
• City of Dublin – Martin L. King, Jr. Monument Phase 1C
• City of Manchester – Making the PRESIDENT THEATRE Sparkle
• City of Springfield – Springfield Ebenezer Creek Greenway Website and Tour App
• Development Authority of the City of Folkston and Charlton County – Folkston Gateway Signage
• Douglas County – “Caught on Camera”: Film Trail of Douglas County Georgia
• Dublin Downtown Development Authority – Downtown Dublin Mobile & Audio Tour
• Eatonton-Putnam Downtown Development Authority – Bike Tour Brochure
• Eatonton-Putnam Downtown Development Authority – Eatonton-Putnam Briar Patch Pocket Parks
• Liberty County Industrial Authority – Gateway Heritage Rehabilitation & Renewal
• Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority – Meriwether County Murals Trail
• Sandersville Downtown Development Authority – Kaolin Banner Project

The Georgia Tourism review panel consists of members from the public and private sector as well as fellow professionals who are experienced in the tourism industry or the type of grant being reviewed.

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, aligning workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.

Emily Murray
Georgia Department of Economic Development