Archway work group is focused on tourism

A group in Grady County is working to identify and promote local tourism opportunities. Working with the UGA Archway Partnership, the Tourism Issue Work Group includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Birdsong Nature Preserve, Grady County Museum & History Center, Millsaps Training Facility, Ochlockonee River Water Trail, Tired Creek Lake, and local governments.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, they gathered to discuss tourism assets in Grady County and how they can be packaged and promoted.  
The group identified four segments of local tourism: arts and heritage tourism, eco- and agri- tourism, event driven tourism, and destination businesses. Under those categories, they worked to determine individual resources that should be listed. Once completed, that compilation will be featured in the Georgia Travel Guide and on the Explore Georgia website.  
The group also reviewed the recently completed Tourism Organization Structure Evaluation provided by the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division.
The report recommends the establishment of an official destination marketing organization for tourism development and suggests that it be funded through local hotel/motel tax collections. The report also notes, “from downtown Cairo to rural hunting, Grady County is full of tourism potential.  This community is at the defining moment for the development and marketing of Grady County as a destination.”   
The group will meet again on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Tourism Issue Work Group, should contact Archway Professional Betsy McGriff at 229-702-6016 or bmcgriff@uga.edu.

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