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State tourism professionals make assessment of local tourism efforts

A team of state tourism professionals is conducting an evaluation of Grady County’s existing tourism efforts and will make recommendations in the coming weeks.
The six-member resource team organized by the Georgia Department of Economic Development spent Tuesday, April 18 talking with local leaders from government, business, chamber and civic interests. They gathered information about Grady County’s current assets, marketing efforts and funding structure.
Armed with that information, the Tourism Organizational Structure Team Evaluation will include recommendations for improvements.
The team included Amanda Peacock, Chris Cannon and Cindy Eidson, all with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Other members were Gina Webb, Region 10 manager of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Rashelle Beasely, director of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Janice Marshall a private consultant. Betsy McGriff, UGA Archway professional for Grady County, served as the community contact for the team.
Local groups that met with the team included downtown business representatives, Downtown Development Authority, Cairo City Council, Grady County Commission, Grady County Lake Authority, Archway executive committee, representatives of Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve and Birdsong Nature Center, and Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
The team will present its recommendations in approximately three months. The report is expected to include information on a tourism funding model, hotel/motel tax collections and spending legality and best practices, recommended model for organization and staffing, and best practices for tourism spending and investment.
The state team will continue to work with local tourism officials to achieve success.

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