More people visiting the Peach State, 2015 numbers reveal

High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art in Midtown Atlanta as seen on Jan. 12, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

ATLANTA (defeo.biz) — Roughly 102.4 million people visited Georgia in 2015. That is an increase of 3.7 percent from a year earlier, the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division said.

“Tourism is one of our most important industries, impacting communities from the North Georgia mountains to our Golden Isles and from the Chattahoochee to the Savannah River,” GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said in a news release. “Not only is Georgia a top vacation destination, but our tourism industry assets provide a robust quality of life for Georgians.”

State tourism officials say visitors are coming from surrounding states including Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Texas.

“Achieving record visitation does not happen by accident, it is the direct result of the strong alliance between state and local tourism industry partners,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner of tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Thanks to their dedication to the industry Georgia is on the minds of so many travelers from around the world. With more tourism product being added across the state each year, there is no doubt that the tourism industry will only continue to grow.”

Visitor spending in Georgia has also reached a record high. The state’s tourism industry generated $58.9 billion in business sales including direct, indirect and induced impact in 2015, up 3 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.

More than 439,000 Georgians are employed in a tourism-related job. That equates to 10.3 percent of all non-farm jobs in the state.

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Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.