Tourism Conference Lands in Valdosta

It could translate into big bucks for our area. Valdosta area hotels are filling up as tourism experts from around the Peach State gather at a conference center to discuss the best way to attract more visitors.

Local officials say this event is important, considering it's the first time it's ever been held in Valdosta.

Marty Brown of the Valdosta Conference Center says, "I think everyone in our industry, especially in our hotel industry here in Valdosta, understands the importance of bringing an event like this to the city."

Locals will be highlighting tourist spots like Wild Adventures, hoping the conference goers return home and spread the word about south Georgia.

Small business managers say it's not just big hotels that benefit when tourism is doing well in Georgia. They say our entire economy is fueled by this business and that's why it’s important to see it head in the right direction.

Ginger Roberts, a business manager, says, "So they're stopping here, they're getting gas here, they're staying in hotels, they're filling up the restaurants, they're spending their money and leaving it here in Georgia, and that's what we need for a healthy economy."

Bob Harris of Georgia Economic Development says, "This meeting gives us a chance to discuss things, to look at our situation as a state to see how we can work together regionally throughout the state to have a bigger impact on tourists and to better capture the tourists that come through Georgia."

Experts say improvements in those areas can only help the state's overall economy. The conference wraps up Friday with a visit by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.