The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism invites locals to “Be a Tourist” in your hometown during National Travel & Tourism Week, May 5-11, 2019. The week celebrates the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being and invites locals to gain the full visitor experience by becoming tourists in their own town. 

“The nationwide week of events serves to promote the power of the tourism industry,” said Lisa Smith, Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism Executive Director. “Tourism is an engine for economic development and adds to the quality of life in Georgia’s Rome.”

Several activities are planned for National Travel & Tourism Week and include the following:

  • Saturday, May 4, Downtown History Tour – Guests will board the Roman Chariots for a guided tour through Rome’s storied past. Historian, Selena Tilly will share insights on the history of area architecture, industry and culture.  Each monthly tour focuses on a specific section of Downtown Rome; the May tour will feature the 200 block. Tours are held the first Saturday of every month April – September and depart from the Downtown Welcome Center at 10 a.m. Tickets are $10/Adults, $5/Children and may be purchased online at RomeGeorgia.org/Tour or at the Rome-Floyd Welcome Center.
  • Saturday, May 4, Clocktower Tours  – The tourism office will host a new season of Clocktower Tours to be offered the first Saturday of every month May through September from 12 to 2 p.m. Self-guided tours of the clocktower are free, but guests are encouraged to donate to support on-going restoration efforts.
  • Saturday, May 4, Ellen Axon Wilson Art Fest – Historic Downtown Rome kicks off Downtown Rome Saturdays, a full season of free, family-friendly events. The first event in the series encompasses visual art, live music, and cultural performances including the Ellen Axson Wilson Art Walk, Chalk Your Heart Out, singer-songwriters, and a free concert by the Grains of Sand. The day will end with the launch of the 2nd Annual Rome Lantern Parade at 8:30 p.m. Entry into the parade is free, but a lantern is needed to participate in the parade. Parking is available for free during festival hours at the Fourth Avenue, Sixth Avenue decks and the Midtown Parking Lot. Get more event details at: DowntownRomeGA.us
  • Sunday, May 5, Sulzbacher Roman Holiday Tour– Tour Rome’s rivers on The Rolling on the River Sunday Cruise on the Sulzbacher Roman Holiday with Dennis Nordeman. The river history themed tour will depart at 2 p.m. from the Heritage Park boat dock. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and may be purchased in advance at RomeGeorgia.org/RomanHoliday or at the Rome-Floyd Welcome Center.
  • Sunday, May 5, Pup-a-Palooza – The 3rd Annual Pup-a-Palooza is a free event and will be held at the new Rome-Floyd Dog Park. The Cinco de Mayo themed event will offer a full afternoon of activities to include a dog obstacle course, frisbee and ball throw areas, and dog pools. Each dog at Pup-a-Palooza will receive 1 free raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes! P.A.W.S. and ARF will offer discounted pet microchips, and rabies vaccination shots. Vendors will be on-site with refreshments and offerings for both people and pups.  For more event details, visit RomeGeorgia.org/PupAPalooza
  • Wednesday, May 8, “As Time Goes By” Clocktower Garden Dedication – The tourism office is dedicating a new garden in honor of Anne Culpepper. The garden designed and by landscape artist John Schulz, will be dedicated during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. “As the clock chimes to announce the time of day, the garden will follow time through the seasons, announcing the shifts with changing flowers and foliage,” said Shulz.  “The garden and the clock will work together to present a ‘Fourth Dimension’”. The area for the garden is located on the east and south upper borders of Clocktower Hill facing East Third Street. Paths will lead visitors into and through the garden that will feature flowering blooms every day of the year once the garden grows in. The garden also serves as a pollinator garden and is on the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.
  • Friday, May 10, Roman Rose Trolley Tours – The tourism office will offer free downtown history tours on the new trolley. All tours depart from the Rome-Floyd Welcome Center.  Guests must have a ticket to participate in the tour. Tickets are available first come, first serve and are available at RomeGeorgia.org/Trolley or at the Rome-Floyd Welcome Center.
  • Saturday, May 11, Georgia’s Rome Photo Exhibition – Local photography selected for the Georgia’s Rome Photo Exhibition will be showcased at Farrell’s Frame & Design Art Gallery during National Travel & Tourism Week. The exhibition will run from May 11 – 25. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 4 – 7 p.m.

Locals are encouraged to participate in all National Travel and Tourism Week activities. “Rome’s visitor and welcome centers allow the tourism office to come in contact with many residents who aren’t aware of the various attractions, events and activities that Georgia’s Rome offers,” said Charlene Mathis, Visitor Center Manager. “We challenge you to see Rome through the eyes of a tourist with these fun activities.”

According to reports from the U.S. Travel Association, tourists spent $158.85 million in Floyd County during 2017, the most recent year that travel expenditure data is available. Additionally, the tourism industry supported 1,409 jobs throughout the service and hospitality industries.  Travelers to Rome and Floyd County generated $6.44 million in state tax revenue and $4.60 million in local tax revenue. Tax revenue generated by tourism economic activity saves each Floyd County household an additional $311 per year. 

The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Ga. Our mission is to strengthen the economic prosperity of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, weddings, meetings, sports and events.

For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week, visit USTravel.org. To learn more about tourism week events in Rome and Floyd County, call 706.295.5576 or visit RomeGeorgia.org.