Visit Roswell has been awarded a $50,000 Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant from the state’s tourism office to help repair tourism in the city post pandemic.
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. Visit Roswell was among 34 tourism entities across 27 counties who received a combined total of nearly $1.5 million in recovery marketing funding as part of this one-time grant program.
Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly approved $1 million in the amended fiscal year 2021 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.
Visit Roswell will utilize the funds through a combination of both digital and print advertising campaigns that target travelers from feeder cities and drive business into the community for overnight stays and business transactions. The organization will focus on its “At Your Natural Pace” campaign, which was created out of the redevelopment of the destination website, VisitRoswellGA.com.
“From the Chattahoochee River and our extensive park system, to our historic homes and grounds, to our thriving restaurant and brewery scene, Roswell is a place tourists want to experience,” Roswell Mayor Lori Henry said. “Tourism not only brings attention to our beautiful and storied city and enjoyment to our visitors, it also has profound economic impacts for our community in terms of travel spending at local hotels, shops, restaurants, and other businesses.”
“This grant is especially important, as it supports Visit Roswell’s vital work in helping our community recover from the pandemic by inspiring people to travel to and explore Roswell’s many tourism assets,” Henry said. “We thank Visit Roswell for their work, and we look forward to introducing more visitors to our beautiful city!”
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.
“As we head into a summer when we expect to see a tremendous reemergence of domestic tourism and the economic prosperity that travel brings, the funding of these grants recognizes the importance of communicating the diversity of visitor experiences across Georgia that are close to home for so many Americans,” deputy commissioner of tourism at Georgia Department of Economic Development Mark Jaronski said. “Thanks to a great working relationship with our destination marketing partners across the state, we believe that we can be most effective in what’s expected to be an incredibly competitive landscape by marketing Georgia to the American public together and complementing the state’s tourism recovery campaign Ready. Set. Georgia.”
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.
“These grants are an important tool for our industry organizations, the majority of which are small businesses, to begin their recovery efforts,” Georgia Department of Economic Development commissioner Pat Wilson said. “We are dedicated to rebuilding travel and tourism across our state because Georgia’s diverse economy cannot fully recover until our tourism and hospitality industry is thriving once again.”