Thursday, January 24, 2013
Chris Cannon, Director of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Annual report on tourism shows major increase in tourism expenditures
Rome, Ga. — The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) has released its 2012-2013 Annual Report on Tourism and the statistics are strong for Floyd County. The report shows an increase of more than 41% in tourism spending throughout the county since 2002.
The bureau reports that a study from the U.S. Travel Association shows that tourists spent $117,220,000 in Floyd County during 2011, the most recent year that results are available. In comparison, tourism expenditures were only $82,900,000 in 2002.
The report also shows that the tourism industry in Floyd County is post-recession, with 2011 being the first year that expenditures have exceeded 2008 levels. In 2008, tourism expenditures were $113,920,000.
“Our latest research shows that the tourism industry has not only recovered from the recession, but we are moving forward with strength never before seen,” said Lisa Smith, GRCVB executive director.
In addition to the significant increase in overall tourism impact, the office also reported that sport, group, and event business that the GRCVB directly assist are up from $7.6 million to $9.4 million in one year.
“These are events, sports tournaments, and conferences that our office recruits or directly assists, so this number speaks to the effectiveness of the tourism office in Rome,” said Smith.
Events with the most economic impact in 2012 included the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show, NAIA Football National Championship, Southern States Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, and multiple tennis tournaments.
“We will continue to be aggressive marketers of Rome and Floyd County and expanding our work with community partners to assure that new visitors travel to our community and experience the amazing culture of Georgia’s Rome,“ said Lisa Smith.
In addition to economic impact, the bureau also announced significant increases in their marketing and public relations efforts.
Website visitation has steadily risen since 2009, however a significant jump in visitation took place following the September launch of the organization’s new website.
RomeGeorgia.org was relaunched in 2012 in partnership with SAI Digital, a Rome based web development company. Along with a new design, the new website announced the GRCVB’s partnership with VenueDog, Inc, a Rome-based start-up business that markets local events to visitors and locals alike.
“Our partnership with VenueDog has been the perfect combination for our visitors,” said Chris Cannon, GRCVB director of communications. “They provide us with a direct feed of events happening throughout Floyd County so our visitors can always find something interesting to do in the community.”
Since the website redesign, the organization has seen a 35% increase in the time visitors are spending on the website and a 61% increase in the pages visited.
“We credit the success of our new website to providing our visitors with an interactive experience that showcases Rome and Floyd County’s unique attractions, lodging, restaurants and events,” said Cannon. “We are excited to see the impact that this new marketing tool will make on Rome’s tourism throughout the coming years.”
With the success of the past year, the GRCVB set many objectives for 2013. Major goals include: increasing international visitation, developing new meeting and convention business, increasing visitation from Chattanooga, Tenn. and Birmingham, Ala. and continuing development of additional hotels throughout Rome & Floyd County.
“The significant increase in the impact of tourism across Rome is further evidence that expanding our current hotel room inventory is essential to our continued success,” said Smith. “Additional hotel rooms mean additional space that we can fill with visitors.”
Copies of the GRCVB 2012-2013 Annual Report can be picked up in the Rome – Floyd Visitor Center or found online at https://romegeorgia.org/about-us/annual-report/.
For more information on the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau or Rome – Floyd Visitor Center, visit www.Romegeorgia.org or call 706.295.5576.
The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Georgia. The GRCVB’s mission is to strengthen the economic fabric of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, meetings, sports and events.