Tourism Buildup for Thomasville


State officials say that's exactly what southwest Georgia needs to promote its economic growth.

Development authorities here say they're constantly encouraging tourism, so an economic gain from it makes them ripe and ready for the challenge.

Thomasville is known as the signature city of roses, but Sharlene Celaya the city's mainstreet director says there's actually more attractions than meets the eye.

Sharlene Celaya, Mainstreet Director, said, "we have a lot of wonderful plantations that surround our area, we have a dynamic downtown, we have a state historic site with the Lapham Patterson House, our museum of history is second to none"

And now state tourism experts say those attractions are what the area can count on for economic development.

They say leisure travelers spend on average about $100 a day, which accounts for the $17 billion tourism industry.

Those efforts are paying off.

It's more than just the visitors who validate Thomasville as the place to be. Its Victorian Christmas was just awarded one of the top 20 events by the southeastern U.S. tourism society.

Officials say there's about $200,000 raised for Thomasville's tourism industry to promote the city's attractions.

Sherea where exactly does that money some from?

It's raised locally through a five percent sales tax from hotels and bed and breakfast.

It's used to operate the welcome center and for promotional needs.