The grant was awarded in collaboration with Explore Georgia, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) state tourism office.
The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program funds marketing efforts to help Georgia's tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of this one-time grant program, 34 destination marketing organizations in 27 counties will receive nearly $1.5 million in recovery marketing funding.
Governor Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly approved $1 million for tourism recovery in the amended FY21 state budget. Because of the large number of grant applications – 58 organizations requested nearly $2.5 million in funding – 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 total recovery support of $2 million.
The latest International Tracking Study on American Travelers by Longwoods shows 90% of travelers now have travel plans, which is the highest level in over a year, during the next six months. Explore Georgia is focusing on funding marketing programs that can be quickly activated and placed in-market to capitalize on this expected increase.
The applications were evaluated based on need, as measured by the organization's year-over-year loss in Hotel-Motel Excise Tax collections and the change in unemployment in the organization's county. Grant recipients received the full amount requested in their applications.