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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
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Georgia Tourism Industry Empowers State Economy

Monday, June 7, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Industry Leaders Outline Successes in Georgia G8 Summit Panel Discussion

  SAVANNAH , GA – Leaders from Georgia 's tourism industry met today at the G8 Summit International Media Center for a panel discussion focused on the drivers behind the industry, including premier destinations and attractions, public-private partnerships, and new developments set to bring even more visitors to the state.

Participants included Janis Cannon, deputy commissioner of tourism for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism (GDITT); Lonice Barrett , commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR); Edward Callaway, chairman and CEO of the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation; and Elizabeth Garcia, executive director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

“Tourism is big business in Georgia and has long been an economic engine for our state,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “ Georgia offers world-class hospitality, distinctive regional cuisine, and unique travel experiences.”

With more than 48 million visitors to the state each year, Georgia is the seventh most visited state in the U.S. Annual tourist expenditures amount to $25 billion, supporting $6 billion in resident wages and 209,500 tourism-related jobs.

In 2005, more than $1 billion will be invested in expansion, renovation, and development projects to tourism attractions including the new Georgia Aquarium, the relocation of the World of Coca-Cola Museum, the new Tubman African-American Museum in Macon, the High Museum of Art expansion, construction of a new Atlanta Symphony Center and hotels including the five-star InterContinental Buckhead and The Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah.

“These new attractions and accommodations will breathe new energy into an already vibrant tourism industry and give visitors from around the world more reason to keep Georgia on their minds,” said Governor Perdue.

**Audio of the briefing will be available at .