Tourism is undoubtedly big business in Georgia, with the sector generating an economic impact of $59 billion.
For Columbus, its slice of that pie in 2016 was $340 million, that impact generated by 1.8 million visitors to the city. They shopped, they ate, they played and they dropped their heads into the beds of local hotels to generate that cash.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, at a recent Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the state Capitol building, played up the importance of an industry that has created nearly 440,000 jobs statewide. The sector comprises more than 10 percent of the Peach State’s total workforce. He called tourism a major economic driver.