News & Press

Macon-Bibb CVB celebrates Travel and Tourism Week

In 2010, Macon and Bibb County tourism generated $278 million in direct tourist spending, ranking Bibb as 10th among Georgia’s 159 counties.

Tourism also generated 3,210 jobs that year, $70.6 million in payroll and $8.2 million in local tax revenue, according to an industry economic impact report.

Those numbers give area tourism officials reason to celebrate as they mark National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs through Sunday.

“Tourism is economic development,” Valerie Bradley, communications manager for the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told a media gathering Tuesday. “It creates commerce. It creates jobs. It creates sales tax and revenue.

“It also improves quality of life. Everybody benefits from those businesses being successful.”

The CVB also touted a number of accomplishments Tuesday, including the revamping of the agency’s website and media kits. The visitors bureau also is set to begin an African-American heritage tour soon. The route is planned, and tour guides are learning scripts, said Stephanie Robinson, the CVB’s director of marketing.

“A lot of people have expressed interest in African-American history,” she said.

Robinson also expects increased interest in local Civil War history during the 150th anniversary of the war.

The CVB has several events planned to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, including a scavenger hunt in which players must visit and photograph certain local attractions to earn prizes. Clues can be found on Facebook or picked up at the downtown visitors center, said Bradley.

“We want them to get out and visit Macon, and see what’s in their hometown,” she said.

Friday, local hoteliers and attractions will have a Travel Rally Day at the CVB’s center on Interstate 75 to share information with travelers.

Saturday, the visitors bureau will host Be Sweet on Macon at the downtown and I-75 centers, featuring free peach ice cream from Lane Packing Co.

Both the Friday and Saturday events run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., though Robinson joked the ice cream giveaway could be “while supplies last.”

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