Tourism sector shows signs of life in Georgia

Tourism sector shows signs of life in Georgia

By: Felipe Rivas 

2 min read September 2020 — In the Peach State, and throughout the world, the coronavirus decimated the travel and hospitality industry. Though the tourism sector remains among the most embattled sectors of Georgia’s economy, data trending in the right direction coupled with recent developments in the airline industry and a new museum coming to the Atlanta area are reasons to celebrate in the midst of a bleak year for the sector. 

Coming off a Super Bowl year in 2019, Atlanta, and the state of Georgia, was prepared to continue showing Southern hospitality to millions of tourists and guests. As of January, more than 500,000 people were employed in the hospitality sector across the state of Georgia, according the the U.S Bureau of Labor. But by April, as shelter in place measures and global travel restrictions were in full effect, the number of hospitality sector workers dropped precipitously to around 284,000 in a matter of weeks. According to the data, however, employment in the tourism sector has trended upward, month after month, since April, and currently over 420,000 Georgians are employed in the sector. 

While the tourism data is promising, the top U.S. airlines are doing their part to increase consumer confidence in the face of the coronavirus. United, American and Atlanta-based Delta this week announced they would drop most change fees for good. Change fees have long been a steady revenue stream for the airlines at the expense of the customer experience. For Delta, flexibility and maintaining health standards has been a major priority during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past, and today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space and care to our customers,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a press release. “We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect,” he said. 

And while the tourism sector in Georgia sang the blues for the better part of this year, a new museum experience announcement will bring a much-needed change of tune to the region. The Grammy Foundation along with the Georgia Music Accord on Monday approved the Grammy Museum Experience in Atlanta. The Georgia Music Accord is exploring possible sites for the museum experience and locating funding sources, according to Saporta Report. The four pillars that will solidify the museum in Atlanta revolve around education, economic impact, workforce development and a celebration of Georgia’s musical heritage, according to the news outlet. Additionally, the museum reportedly is envisioned to have a scoring stage that would work on music scores for movies, TV shows and video gaming.

Georgia’s business reputation stays strong in midst of pandemic

Georgia’s business reputation stays strong in midst of pandemic

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read July 2020 — The Peach State’s methodical investments in economic development, workforce training, support for small businesses, and overall pro-business environment continue to pay dividends for the region, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

 

Georgia was once again celebrated as a leader in economic development in June by Area Development Magazine, which awarded the state its 12th Silver Shovel Award. This distinction, Georgia’s 11th consecutive award, celebrates the region’s excellence in economic activity, job creation and investment attraction. Besides this latest recognition, the region also saw significant technology-based business expansion in June, while its film industry readies to meet pent-up studio demand, which is set to employ some 40,000 people — a significant boon to the local economy afflicted by coronavirus-related challenges. 

“It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of all of the hardworking Georgians who consistently create opportunities in their communities,” Gov. Brian Kemp said of the 12th Silver Shovel Award, according to a press release. “For 11 years in a row, Georgia has earned this recognition thanks to our pro-business environment, unmatched workforce, world-renowned logistics, and long-standing commitment to attracting jobs to every corner of the state. I want to thank our state’s economic development team and our local partners for their tireless work to promote prosperity throughout the Peach State.”

While compounded economic activity prior to the coronavirus slowdown may have significantly maintained the state’s pro-business reputation, recent June business expansion announcements continue to highlight the strong economic fundamentals found in the Peach State. 

Three technology-based companies announced investments and job creation plans in different Georgia communities. Milletech Systems Inc., SK Innovation, and Perspecta, companies that span the gamut of technology services from software solutions to advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity, are set to bring more than 1,200 jobs to the region while providing millions of dollars in investments. These announcements are testaments to Georgia’s “top-notch college and university system and training programs,” Kemp said. “I am confident that Milletech will be pleased with their decision to expand and invest in Georgia along with the skilled talent we have right here in the Peach State.” Kemp had similar sentiments when speaking of the other recent technology company expansions.

To go along with editorial recognition and recent business expansions, the Peach State’s film sector officially opened for business following months-long coronavirus-related shutdowns. Major motion picture, television, and streaming companies are gearing up to hire approximately 40,000 production workers, the governor’s office announced in June. The announcement follows revised safety protocols provided by the Georgia Film Office, which complements further safety guidelines published by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force, aimed at ensuring a safe workplace environment and reducing the spread of the virus. 

An expected 75 productions are set to resume filming. They are projected to inject over $2 billion into the Georgia economy during the next 18 months, helping more than 17,000 small businesses in the process. “The entertainment production industry is coming back and ready to jumpstart the Georgia economy by creating jobs and generating greatly needed investment and spending in communities across the Peach State,” said Gov. Kemp, according to a press release.

“Georgia is open for business, and we look forward to an even stronger relationship with the film industry moving forward,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. In 2019, 391 film and television productions filmed in Georgia, supported by 3,040 motion picture and television industry businesses. “Thanks to the historic best practices guide, Georgia is able to safely send the tens of thousands of film and TV industry employees back to work and restart production. The economic impact of film touches local communities and small businesses across Georgia. We look forward to resuming the hundreds of productions across the state and to keeping Georgia as the nation’s film and TV capital,” Wilson said.

To learn more, visit: https://gov.georgia.gov