By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
Rome, GA. may not be the next Las Vegas, but new numbers released by the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau do show tourism is on the rise in Floyd County.
Since 2002, the bureau reports that tourism spending has increased through the county by 41%. Visitors to the area dropped close to $82.9 million into our local economy in 2002; a figure that barely compares to the most recent numbers from 2011, where some $117 million dollars was spent by tourists. And, excitingly enough, the tourism industry appears to have leaped over and past the recession, with 2011 being the first year tourist dollars have exceeded 2008 levels.
Also on the rise, was spending by tourists at events directly recruited and assisted by the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau, which was up by $1.8 million.
Officials with the visitor’s bureau attribute all this growth in-part to some of the bigger events that were hosted in the county, like the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show, the NAIA Football Championship Game and the Southern States Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.