Regarded as the entrance to the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Gainesville/Hall County contributed $180.5 million in 2001 toward tourism expenditures in the State of Georgia. With the attraction of Lake Sidney Lanier as a recreational area, tourism is an important segment of our local economy.
Tourism brings millions of dollars into our economy through jobs/employee wages, taxes, food, hotels, suppliers and retail stores – adding economic opportunities for all. In addition, tourism seldom places extensive stress on infrastructure.
In 2001, the Regional Welcome Center, on I-985 between Flowery Branch and Oakwood, brought in some 44,500 visitors from all over the world. “Currently, the Regional Center is seeing a 10% increase in visitors over last year,” said Robert Croy, center manager.
The Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center, located on E.E. Butler Parkway in downtown Gainesville accommodated 20,620 visitors and call-in requests with relocation and tourism information in 2001-2002.
Tourism is the second largest industry in the state. In 2000, tourists in Georgia spent the following: $2.6 billion on lodging, $4.7 billion on food and beverages, $4.9 billion on shopping, $2.5 billion on recreation, $1.5 billion on in-state transportation. That’s a total of $16.2 billion with 43.03 million overnight visitors. The average daily expenditure per person with lodging is $117, and the average length of stay is 2.84 nights.
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center Manager Audrey White, 770-532-6206. Northeast Georgia Regional Welcome Center Manager Robert Croy, 770-956-9272.