Not seeing images? View the web version
COVID-19 Update from Explore Georgia

As the pandemic continues worldwide and we all work to balance public health safety and the economy, we know that a crucial step will be working with our tourism partners to put Georgians in the industry back to work to get the state’s economy back on track. According to Tourism Economics, for the last nine consecutive weeks, Georgia has experienced increased travel spending. Weekly travel spending in Georgia is 73% higher than the national average, which is good news considering that Georgia has lost more than $6.1 billion in travel spending since March. We can’t call it a recovery yet, but it’s a strong indication that our state is headed in the right direction.
Consumer confidence in travel is growing, especially here in the South. Travelers are largely choosing places where they can safely social distance, and they are supporting communities and businesses that are clearly following safety guidelines.
Data also shows that the vast majority of Americans feel safest traveling by cars, and many who are traveling are choosing road trips. More than 40% of travelers say their next road trip will take place in the next three months to places like beaches, small towns, national and state parks, and places with outdoor activities like biking, kayaking, and hiking.
Here in Georgia, we have all the things that travelers are seeking: places where they can safely social distance, enjoy beautiful landscapes, and have adventures. We know residents in your communities are supportive of welcoming visitors and are eager to welcome Georgia residents. And, when they’re ready to travel, we are encouraging Georgians to stay in-state, support local businesses, and explore all that Georgia has to offer.
To that end, below are links to some recent media coverage the Explore Georgia team has secured:
Wave III: Partner Readiness Survey Response Needed
Thank you to everyone who responded to the first and second waves of our Partner Readiness Survey. The feedback you’ve submitted is a vital resource as we talk about tourism with media and consumers, and continue to build out our recovery plan. However, in response to the second round of this survey, we heard from significantly fewer communities. We need your help and your voices now more than ever to ensure that our vision is clear as we move forward together.

We are now deploying wave III of the survey to continue to understand the state of tourism throughout Georgia. If you responded to wave I or wave II of the survey, please take a few minutes to participate in wave III. If you didn’t respond previously, you are encouraged to participate now. We want to make sure all the regions are represented by all the destination promoters working with and for them.

Please note, this survey is intended and designed specifically for the primary destination promoter in your community. These include CVBs, DMOs, chambers of commerce, tourism offices, and other government entities and nonprofit groups. If this is you, please take a few minutes to complete this survey by Monday, June 29. Please limit responses to one response per organization/destination. All responses will be kept confidential.

We plan to repeat this survey every two weeks for the foreseeable future. A summary of responses from the first and second waves of the survey, aggregated by tourism region, can be found on the Explore Georgia Tourism Industry Portal.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ashley Barfield, director of tourism research, at or 404-962-4087.
Tourism Product Development Grant Applications Due
The Tourism Product Development (TPD) grant applications are due today, Thursday, June 25. Cycle 1 Grants are awarded up to $10,000 per applicant for building or marketing projects that enhance or expand the destination’s visitor experience. Any community or county that previously hosted a TPD Resource Team is eligible to apply. Detailed grant information and application can be accessed via the Explore Georgia Tourism Industry Portal.
Visitor Information Center Signage
A reopening date has not yet been set for our state Visitor Information Centers, but over the past week our staff has been back in the buildings getting them ready to welcome guests. We’ve deployed PPE to all the centers, installed acrylic protective barriers, prepared individual hand sanitizers for guests, and are installing new signage. The new signs will promote social distancing and layout guidelines for visiting safely. Signs will be used on floors to indicate where visitors should stand, and they will direct them to where they can obtain brochures and hotel coupon books. Using iconic things found in Georgia, some of the signs illustrate how far apart people should stand and include fun facts about the state.

We welcome all of our Regional Visitor Information Centers to use the new Explore Georgia reopening signs. There are two versions of each file: one for in-house printing and one to send to a professional printer. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Manager of Regional Visitor Services Nija Torrence at

Tourism Awards Postponed to 2021
Recognizing that partners are dealing with a lot of changes this year, Explore Georgia has decided to postpone the annual industry awards program to next year when we resume the full Georgia Tourism Conference at Lanier Islands August 30-September 1, 2021. This change allows everyone additional time to prepare and deliver a quality program that recognizes our talented tourism industry leaders and campaigns. We plan to announce more information about the 2021 Tourism Awards program early next year. In the interim, if you have not registered for The Georgia Tourism Summit – the special one-day, one-time event replacing the conference this year – please know that registration is limited to 200 partners, costs $99, and includes an information-rich program.

Event Date Time
Events & Festivals in a Post-COVID-19 World
July 14 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Crisis Communications
& Management - Part 1
Aug.11 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Crisis Communications
& Management - Part 2
Aug. 11 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Group Tour Primer:
5 Steps to Become More
Group Tour Ready
Sept. 8 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Georgia This page is part of the electronic travel newsletter program brought to you by Georgia Department of Economic Development, 75 Fifth Street N.W., Suite 1200, Atlanta, GA 30308 © 2020, GDEcD. All Rights Reserved. All other marks belong to their respective owners. All materials Copyright © 2020 by Explore Georgia
Share   |   Unsubscribe   |   Contact Us   |   Update Your Preferences