City of Woodstock’s tourism professionals were recognized at the 2018 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference in Atlanta Wednesday. Hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (GACVB), the annual industry event brought together more than 400 tourism industry professionals from across the state.
The Woodstock Visitors Center was awarded The Al Burruss Award for Creative Expression recognizing the renovation that took place at the center earlier this year. Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Kevin Langston noted that the renovation project preserved the history of a significant building while creating an innovative space to welcome and inform visitors.
“Communities all across Georgia feel the positive impact that the tourism industry has in our state,” said Langston. “As we work to expand our reach in attracting visitors from across the globe, our efforts would not be possible without the contributions of Georgia Tourism team as well our tourism industry partners.”
Tourism Manager Kyle Bennett accepted the award on behalf of the Woodstock Visitors Center along with Economic Development Director Brian Stockton, historian and center founder Juanita Hughes, and Marketing Manager Stacy Brown. Mayor Donnie Henriques, Downtown Development Authority Chair Perry Tanner, State Representative Michael Caldwell, and Program Manager Mitzi Saxon also attended the annual tourism industry event. The award was presented by Langston, Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus President Rashelle Beasley, and Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson.
“Georgia’s tourism industry is a significant contributor to our economic health, generating a record $63.1 billion in economic impact, and employing more than 460,000 Georgians,” said Wilson. “Our tourism industry professionals continue to welcome a record number of visitors to our state each year. I thank them for their dedication to making Georgia a top vacation destination and for ensuring the tourism industry maintains its success well into the future.”
Renovations were completed by local contractor Robert Conner and included the addition of a second restroom and exposing the 113-year-old brick walls. A wall was constructed providing for a gallery area to feature local art and history displays, historical record storage and workspace, and an updated seating area. Custom information racks and modern retail displays were constructed by local artisan Ben Richter of The Woodstock Wood Stock.
Since the reopening of the center, staff has seen an increase in the number of visitors and an improvement in visitor engagement and satisfaction.