2nd Annual State of Tourism Features All Major 2018 Candidates for Governor

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Confirming the economic significance of Georgia’s over $60 billion tourism industry, all seven major candidates seeking the Governor’s office in 2018 appeared at the 2nd Annual State of Tourism Breakfast hosted by the Georgia Travel Association on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.  Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson also participated in the morning’s program.
“There is no denying that tourism and hospitality is big business in Georgia and it was encouraging to hear first-hand from the men and women running for governor that they are committed to growing this vibrant sector of our economy,” said Michael Owens, 2018 Chair of the Georgia Travel Association and President of the Tourism Leadership Council.  “We are fortunate that Governor Nathan Deal made tourism a priority throughout his administration and are hopeful that his successor will do the same.”
Over 200 tourism, hospitality, and arts professionals attended the breakfast and heard from Stacey Abrams, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Stacey Evans, Hunter Hill, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Clay Tippens, and State Senator Michael Williams – each of whom spoke about their plans to support and grow the tourism industry. After breakfast, attendees traveled to the Georgia State Capitol to participate in the annual Tourism, Hospitality and Arts Day.
“Tourism and hospitality enhance our economy while highlighting the authentic people, beauty and resources of every region of our state. Our organization is committed to ensuring that current and future leaders at every level of government in Georgia understand the profound impact this industry has in terms of both jobs and revenue and we look forward to working with not only a new governor, but all who are elected this fall,” concluded Georgia Travel Association Executive Director Morgan Law.   
Later that morning, Governor Nathan Deal announced that the tourism and hospitality industry now has a $60.8 billion annual economic impact and is responsible for over 450,000 jobs throughout in Georgia.