The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism division announced today that it has awarded more than $57,525 in product development grants to 13 new and expanding tourism projects across the state.
“To help Georgia communities develop new tourism products, Georgia Tourism offers grants to communities that participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development Resource Team program,” said Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner of Tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Through the program, a community’s tourism potential is evaluated and a plan to grow that potential through innovative and unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage is developed. These grants enable communities to begin implementing those plans.”
Since its inception, Georgia Tourism’s Product Development team has served 41 counties, cities, private for-profits and non-profits throughout the state in areas ranging from agritourism to downtown development.
“The Tourism Product Development Resource Team has streamlined its initiative in assisting our communities with funding, which is one of the greatest needs in fortifying tourism product development in Georgia,” said Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “By providing funds to projects that we help inspire, we are jump-starting tourism economic development across the state, helping to not only grow Georgia’s tourism offerings, but also creating jobs and sustainable economic development in these communities.”
The Tourism Product Development Resource Team Community Funding Program allows the communities served to build new product from the recommendations made by the Tourism Product Development Resource Team members or supports projects the community has developed as an expansion of the resource team’s recommendations. The recommendations and financial support provided through this funding program is designed to spur tourism development activities at the local level that maintain and create jobs, attract tourists, and enhance the visitor experience.
Recipients of the 2017 Tourism Product Development Funding Program include:
- Adel-Cook County Tourism Authority—Permanent Masonry Stone Gateway Structure – East Adel, Cook County
- Bartow County Government—George Washington Carver Park Interpretive Signage
- Berrien County—Modern Midways
- Chattooga County—Paradise Gardens Renovations to Artist Cottage
- City of Darien—Kumbaya Kiosk
- City of Shellman—Shellman Silo Bin Murals
- City of Tallapoosa—Helton Howland Park’s Doodle Thrower Amphitheatre Project Phase 2
- Downtown Development Authority of Adel, GA—Permanent Masonry Stone Gateway Structure –West Adel, Cook County
- Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority—Woodbury Butterfly Retreat
- Monroe County—Juliette Park
- Putnam County Development Authority—Putnam County Signage
- Putnam Development Authority—Briar Patch Arts Council Marketing Branding and Website Development
- Randolph County Board of Commissioners—Randolph County Cemetery Driving Tour
The Georgia Tourism review panel consists of members from the public and private sector as well as fellow professionals who are experienced in the tourism industry or the type of grant being reviewed.