ATLANTA — Georgia’s tourism industry generated a record-breaking $61.1 billion in business sales including direct, indirect and induced impact in 2016. That is a 3.5 percent from last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.
“Georgia’s tourism industry impact has shattered records once again. Not only do we welcome millions of visitors each year, but tourism supports employment across multiple industry sectors, employing an estimated 450,000 Georgians statewide,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release. “Congratulations to Georgia’s tourism industry professionals – it’s our people, our destinations and our world famous southern hospitality that keeps people coming back year after year.”
Georgia’s total tourism demand now stands 34 percent higher than its pre-recession level in 2008, numbers indicate. Visitor spending generated more than $3.2 billion in state and local tax revenue in Georgia.
“Tourism continues to be one of our state’s leading industries, even outpacing the average growth rate nationwide of 2.1 percent,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “These record-setting numbers have a positive impact across the state, impacting every community and household in Georgia by spurring job creation, attracting investment, and providing residents with an improved quality of life.”
According to state officials, every Georgia household would need to be taxed an additional $900 per year to replace the tourism taxes received as a result of the industry’s tax contribution.