Tourist spending on the rise in Forsyth County

Michelle Hall

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Father and son hike to the Indian Seats at the top of Sawnee Mountain(Photo/Discover FoCo)

(Forsyth County, GA) More tourists are heading to Forsyth County, according to new information released by Discover FoCo, the county’s Destination Marketing Organization. The group also reports that Forsyth County is now ranked fifth out of the 34 counties that make up the North Georgia travel region.

In a 2021 economic impact study conducted by Tourism Economics, visitors who traveled to Forsyth County spent $187.9 million in lodging, food and beverage, retail, transportation, and recreation expenses. That is 34.5 percent more than what was spent in 2020.

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(Image/Discover FoCo)

Here’s a look at how the impact study broke down the numbers of visitor spending in Forsyth County:

  • $41.3 million in labor income
  • $12.6 million in state and local tax revenues
  • 1,588 employees in the travel industry
  • $156.60 saved per household on state and local taxes

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(Image/Discover FoCo)

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(Image/Discover FoCo)

"Tourism helps offset taxes for our residents," said Discover FoCo Director of Tourism Joni Buford. "Think of visitors as temporary taxpayers. They come into our community, spend money with our local businesses and lodging properties, then leave those generated tax revenues behind to benefit our community while they return to theirs."

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Lake Lanier is a big tourist destination in Forsyth County(Photo/Discover FoCo)

The impact study found visitor spending in the entire state of Georgia reached $28.5 billion in 2021. That is 35% more than in 2020. There were more than 232,500 jobs in hospitality and tourism, allowing those workers to earn more than $8.2 billion in wages and benefits.

Explore Georgia, the state’s official Destination Marketing Organization, conducts these tourism economic impact studies each year and shares the information gathered with local agencies to see how money is being earned in each region.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, email Michelle Hall at michelle.hall@newsbreak.com

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