Thirty-four destination marketing organizations in 27 counties will receive a combined total of nearly $1.5 million in recovery marketing funding as part of this one-time grant program.
Governor Brian Kemp announced this week that a partnership with Eplore Georgia, the state tourism office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), will provide a special round of Tourism Recovery Marketing Grants. The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program supports marketing efforts “to bolster the recovery of Georgia’s tourism industry from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Governor Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly approved $1 million in the amended FY21 state budget for tourism recovery. Because of the substantial number of grant applications – from 58 organizations totaling nearly $2.5 million in funding requests – Explore Georgia contributed an additional $1 million from the state tourism marketing budget to fund as many grants as possible. The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing program also includes $500,000 in co-op matching funds, for a total of $2 million in recovery support.
“A prospering tourism industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and positively impacts the health and vitality of our state’s economy. I’m proud to support our hardworking tourism organizations across the state through this recovery funding,” Kemp said in a news release. “The tourism and hospitality community needs our support more than ever, and this funding will provide the immediate marketing assistance they need to make sure that Georgia is on the minds of eager travelers.”
The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program was designed to provide relief to areas of the state most impacted by the drop in tourism and will fund promotional efforts to aid the travel industry’s recovery in 2021. The grants awarded have prioritized organizations and communities that have experienced the greatest impact from the loss of visitors and subsequent tourism spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, 90% of travelers now have travel plans in the next six months, which is the highest level in more than a year. Explore Georgia focused on funding marketing programs that can be quickly activated and placed in-market to capture this anticipated increase to take advantage of this opportunity.
The applications were evaluated based on need, quantified by the year-over-year loss in Hotel-Motel Excise Tax collections for the organization, and the change in unemployment in the organization’s county. Grant recipients received 100% of the award amount requested on their applications.
The recipients of the Tourism Recovery Marketing Grants are in the PDF file below.