NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS Cheryl Smith
Regional Tourism Representative
TRAVEL REGION GA Dept of Economic Development
Office: 770-535-5757 ~ Cell: 678-640-4355
December 2010 Report csmithgeorgia.org
NEWS FROM THE ATLANTA OFFICE
An excerpt from Joy Walstrum at Tourism Development Alliance of Georgia:
"Governor-Elect Nathan Deal made his first round of announcements today on his cabinet. There was great news for
tourism on 2 fronts.
Commissioner Mike Beatty will stay on as Commissioner of DCA. Mike has been a faithful steward for economic
development, and he has worked diligently to fairly lead in his role at DCA, particularly in the constantly complex and
challenging realm of hotel tax policy.
We are equally as excited to congratulate Chris Cummiskey in his new role as Commissioner of GDEcD. Chris will do an
outstanding job. He has the background and expertise to lead Georgia's marketing efforts. He has worked with the
tourism industry on hotel tax policy, federal hotel per diem rates, tourism incentives and various other issues over the last
GEORGIA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTERS
2011 RVIC Workshop will kshop will take place in Albany on March 23-25! More information and registration
details will be coming soon - stay tuned!
Smith Travel – Contact me for the slightly expanded report
• Hotel/motel occupancy increased 10.9% statewide in October 2010 from October 2009
• October 2010 room rates (ADR) in Georgia were finally up 1.9% from last October
• Statewide, RevPAR was up 13%.
• Georgia room revenues increased 14.2%
• Room Demand increased 12.2%
• Room Supply increased by 1.1% in the state from October 2009 to October 2010.
• Hotel/motel occupancy is up 6.1% statewide YTD
YTD room rates (ADR) in Georgia are still down –2.1%
• Statewide, RevPAR is up 2.1% year-to-date.
• Georgia room revenues are up 6.1% year-to date.
• Room Demand is up 8.4%
• Room Supply is up 2.1% in the state year-to-date.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT GRANT
Congratulations to North Georgia Canopy Tours and Sautee Nacoochee Center for being awarded Product
TOURISM DIVISION NEWSLETTERS
PeachBytes - Sign up for this monthly update on statewide tourism news and activities. Send email to
email@example.com and put Sign Up in Subject Box.
This Weekend in Georgia goes out to almost 10,000 people. Events & festivals are pulled from the
www.ExploreGeorgia.org database so make sure your event/festival is listed. Remember to fill out all the
information possible including images of past events.
Monthly Consumer Newsletter – Go to www.ExploreGeorgia.org and sign up
SALES TEAM UPDATE
WWW.EXPLOREGEORGIA.ORG & TIPS OF THE MONTH
When submitting a listing or an event, please include the contact name, phone number and email address. This
info is not for the public but for us to be able to contact the person submitting the info in case we have a
question that needs to be clarified. It is very important to fill this info out or we would not have asked for it.
Don’t forget, we are going to be sending out a Special Offers/Packages newsletter soon so make sure all your
special offers and packages are posted on www.ExploreGeorgia.org. Contact me if you have any questions or
can’t access your account.
NOTE FROM POINTS NORTH MAGAZINE: It is with great sadness that we must inform you that our very dear
friend and associate, Tom C. Cooper, passed away this week. The Points North family is very sorry to
communicate the news in such an impersonal manner, but we wanted to make certain you were aware of this
The Cooper family asked that we provide you with detailed information concerning the memorial service and
the celebration of Tom's life.
Sunday December 12 at 2 p.m.
Atlanta North Seventh-day Adventist Church
5123 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30338-4801
If you are unable to attend but would like to share your remembrances of Tom with his family, please do so at
the following address:
Mrs. Nyla Cooper and Family
2989 Meadow Drive
Marietta, GA 30062-4320
The family has established a scholarship fund for photography students in Tom's name. Memorial contributions
may be made to The Community Foundation, with Tom C. Cooper Fund on the memo line.
The Community Foundation
c/o Points North Magazine
568 Peachtree Parkway
Cumming, GA 30041
We hope you will keep Tom and his family in your prayers.
Franklin County Chamber has a new Executive Secretary: Welcome to Aida Reynolds
TRAVEL & INDUSTRY TRENDS
Youth Matters: the Most Neglected Travel Market – One can measure the importance of the youth travel
market in numbers or in its changing makeup but it’s perhaps best viewed in its immense potential to a wide
spectrum across the travel market. The youth market is a $136 billion worldwide enterprise. Young travelers
are usually defined as aged 16 to 29. In some surveys, that market has grown faster than most other travel
segments. Studies show that young travelers spend more than those in other travel sectors, spend four times
longer traveling to a destination than the average visitor, spending$2600 per trip, and have a higher lifetime
value than other travel sectors because the backpackers and students of today are tomorrow’s honeymooners,
family, business and leisure travelers. To find out more, visit www.travelmole.com/stories/1145165.php.
Weary of Online Booking, Clients Return to Travel Agents – For some travelers, do-it-yourself booking is losing its
luster. A study by Forrester Research found that in the first three months of this year, 28 percent of leisure
travelers in the U.S. who booked their trips online said they'd be interested in going to a good traditional travel
agent. That's up from 23 percent in 2008. Another Forrester report finds that the number of leisure travelers
who enjoyed using the Web to plan and book their vacations dropped to 46 percent last year, down from 53
percent in 2007. The findings reflect a growing frustration with websites that fail to simplify an increasingly
complicated travel process or to meet a vacationer's specific needs, some analysts and travelers argue. To find
out more, visit www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2010-11-16-travelagents16_CV_N.htm.
PwC Predicts Stronger Lodging Growth in 2011 – PricewaterhouseCoopers’ updated lodging forecast expects the
focus to shift from demand growth to average daily rate (ADR) gains, as pricing power returns against the
backdrop of an earlier-than-expected lodging recovery. Despite a slower pace of economic recovery in 2010,
growth in occupied rooms has remained brisk and recent performance metrics indicate that demand has
recovered to 2007 levels. After reaching a trough at a similar time as the economy in mid-2009, lodging demand
has rebounded more quickly, and average demand levels in 2010 are estimated to be only 1.1 percent behind
2007. This recent demand growth has set the stage for the next phase of recovery, which is expected to be
driven by solid room rate growth. To find out more, visit www.travelpulse.com/pricewaterhousecoopers-
Spas Try to Shake Off Frou-Frou Image, Stress Health Benefits – Most people who've had a lot of spa treatments
swear by them as a way to de-stress, even to stay well. But many others still view a massage and other options
as an indulgence, or as something women do. Like other industries, spas overall haven't been thriving lately.
And the frou-frou image is something they are trying to rub out, according to speakers at last week's
International Spa Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo outside Washington, D.C. And so to thrive in a difficult
climate, spas are honing their focus and branching out. To find out more, visit
Ypartnership Survey Shows Social Media Reach Exceeds Influence -- Friends, online and offline travel agents,
guidebooks and other sources of information about travel carry more clout with travelers than social media,
according to the new Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers. The study looks at how
active travelers visit social media sites, consult the content of these sites when evaluating travel service options
and, how they’re influenced by it. Among all active travelers in the U.S. (those who took at least one trip that
required overnight accommodations during the previous 12 months), just under half (an estimated 46 percent)
have a page posted on a social site. Facebook has achieved the highest rate of market penetration, followed by
LinkedIn and MySpace. But theoretical reach doesn't necessarily translate into influence, particularly when it
comes to commercial communications. And in three separate national surveys conducted by Ypartnership,
fewer than one in 10 active travelers (6 percent) has reported that the content to which they have been exposed
on social sites has had any significant influence on their final choice of a destination or travel service supplier.
To find out more, visit www.travelpulse.com/ypartnership-survey-shows-social-media-reach-exceeds-
S.D. Hotel Manager Finds Room at the Inn for Needy Families – For the third year in a row, a hotel manager in
Sioux Falls, S.D., will make sure there is room at the inn on Christmas Eve, as he invites dozens of needy families
to stay the night and make memories in the indoor swimming pool, the rooms and the dining areas. Tom Bosch,
manager of the Holiday Inn City Centre, says he's always wanted to do something on Christmas Eve to help
people find some joy. So he committed up to 200 rooms for people in need this Christmas Eve, he says. Then,
he and an army of volunteers will provide a Christmas Eve dinner buffet – which is open to anyone – and a
continental breakfast for those who stay the night. To find out more, visit www.usatoday.com/yourlife/mind-
All the Comforts of Work – The workspace in hotel rooms is getting a makeover. Hotels are adding larger desks,
ergonomic chairs and more powerful task lights with plugs at the bottom for charging cellphones or laptops.
The upgrade does not cost a lot of money, analysts said, but goes a long way toward satisfying business
travelers, who are increasingly expected to keep up with their workloads while on the road. Hotels are focusing
on several elements in helping travelers work in their rooms more effectively. They are installing bigger desks,
sometimes incorporating modules that slide out from under the side of the desk to further increase the amount
of surface area. Hotels have also learned not to pile literature about in-room entertainment or local attractions
on the desks. To find out more, visit www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/business/07work.html?_r=2&ref=travel.
Colliers PKF Hospitality Predicts Improvement for U.S. Hotel Industry -- The recovery of the U.S. lodging
industry continues to improve, buoyed by a sustained expansion in the demand for hotel rooms across the
country. Accordingly, Colliers PKF Hospitality Research has edged up its forecasts for U.S. hotel performance for
2010 and re-affirmed the outlook for 2011. In the recently released December 2010 edition of Hotel Horizons,
PKF-HR forecasts that lodging demand will grow by 7.8 percent in 2010. This is nearly four times greater than
the 2 percent increase in hotel supply, resulting in a record 5.7 percent rise in occupancy. To find out more, visit
MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARKETING
We're researching a few stories for our March/April issue and seeking information on continuing education from
around the region. Specifically, workshops, learning vacations, regional program and lifelong learning
opportunities - through colleges, organizations, arts centers, etc. - in the following areas:
- arts and crafts
- regional cuisine
- outdoor adventure
Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Cara Ellen Modisett, Editor at Large, Blue Ridge Country magazine -
For counties along the SouthernHighroads Trail (Towns, Union, White, Rabun & Habersham)…see note from
Steve Bailey: One of Southern Highroads most basic objectives is to provide for economic development of the
Southern Highroads region of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. One tool we have to
accomplish this objective is the events calendar of www.southernhighroads.org. Please send me your events
update for 2011, or for whatever period you deem appropriate, so I can post them to the Southern Highroads
events calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valentine’s Cocktails – Madelyn Miller is looking for Valentine’s Day cocktails recipes for a story in
CocktailAtlas.com. Send a jpg and the recipe/ingredients to her attention at email@example.com.
Deadline: Jan. 10.
Weird and Wonderful Museum Exhibits – Richard Church of Heron Media Limited (UK) is conducting research
for a TV program scheduled for U.K. broadcast late 2011/early 2012. The program features weird and wonderful
museum exhibits from around the world -- the more extreme the better. He knows the USA has an abundance
of these items. As he is in the process of gathering information, he is first looking for the basic exhibit details via
e-mail prior to a selection being made. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org – and make sure the
exhibit will still be around in late 2011/early 2012. Deadline: Rolling admission.
CONFERENCES, SEMINARS, ARTICLES AND INDUSTRY NEWS
Winter Chautauqua “Save the Date” flyer will be coming out soon. I will forward to all when I get it. It will be in
o The Staybridge Suites- Historic District is currently seeking an experienced Senior Sales Manager to lead
their sales department. This position requires at least 2 years of Sales Experience, preferably in the
hotel industry. To be considered for this opportunity, one must possess exceptional customer service
skills, be involved with the community, have strong computer skills, and actively participate in
networking events. This position requires attention to all segments- Government, Corporate, SMERFE,
Tour & Travel, and Association markets. The appropriate candidate must have an outgoing, friendly,
positive attitude and be highly motivated to build our business! Qualified candidates are asked to send
a resume with their salary requirements to email@example.com.
o Visit Savannah –Communications Associate: Entry-level communications position for the
tourism/hospitality/business industry. This position will primarily be responsible for press releases,
copywriting, local media relations. Candidate must have excellent written, verbal, organizational and
technology skills including Microsoft Office and Photoshop, as well as a willingness to work in a fast-
paced team environment and be able to multi-task. Degree in Communications, Public Relations or
related field preferred. Send resumes to: Vice President of Communications, Savannah Chamber and
Visit Savannah, P.O. Box 1628, Savannah, GA 31402-1628 or publicrelations@VisitSavannah.com. No
phone calls. EOE
GRANTS & FUNDING SOURCES
List of Grants & Other Funding Sources
We’d like to remind you that there is information on grant programs and other funding sources on
www.marketgeorgia.org. Go to www.georgia.org/GeorgiaIndustries/Tourism/Programs/Pages/Grants.aspx#other
Funding initiatives through Georgia State Parks
The following is a URL for two programs (the "Land and Water Conservation Fund" and the "Recreational Trails
Program"). The Coastal region has utilized these grants for tourism related projects:
List of Funding Sources for Historic Preservation Projects (Georgia Historic Preservation Division)
This is a long and extensive list…be sure to check it out periodically for new funding opportunities.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Georgia Travel Industry Calendar of Events: Go to www.marketgeorgia.org and click on Travel Industry Calendar
of Events to find out info on meetings, conferences, trade & travel shows, and other tourism related events.
Contact me if you would like to submit a tourism industry event (meeting, conference, etc.).
Be sure to bookmark the page and come back often for information on new and valuable tourism
STS Top 20 Events Nominations
To be considered, an event must have an attendance of at least 1,000 and be in its third year of
There is a $10.00 entry fee required per event.
Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support nominations by providing supporting material
such as photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and/or volunteer programs.
To find out more, visit www.southeasttourism.org/top20/. (The deadlines are also listed on the
www.MarketGeorgia.org Travel Industry Calendar of Events.)
- Friday, JANUARY 7, 2011 for events in July, August, September 2011
- Friday, APRIL 8, 2011 for events in October, November, December 2011
- Friday, July 8 , 2011 for events in January, February, March 2012
- Friday October 7 , 2011 for events in April, May, June 2012
Tourism Day at the Capitol will be January 25, 2011 Contact Hilda Thomason at 706-896-4191 or via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to participate
Winter Chautauqua will be March 6-7, 2011 – Location TBD (Historic HighCountry Travel Region).