According to the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, agritourism and other nature-based tourism generated $195 million to Georgia’s economy in 2012. The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness helps Georgia’s agritourism operators develop new products and technologies to increase their bottom line.
By partnering with Georgia Department of Economic Development regional tourism managers, Georgia Department of Agriculture Business Development and Georgia Grown teams, and private producers, the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness has helped create one of the state’s first Georgia Grown trails along Highway 37 in South Georgia. Created by House Resolution 48 in 2013, the trail currently has 24 agritourism destinations, including wineries, distilleries, organic and traditional farming operations, farm experiences and tours, and plenty of opportunities to purchase fresh from the farm products.
“Georgia’s agritourism sites have become top destinations for visitors in recent years – the Georgia Grown Trail will put a spotlight on Highway 37’s agribusiness entities,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Georgia’s tourism industry impact hit a record high with $53.6 billion last year – we expect to see this number increase as new tourism product comes online across the state.”
The Georgia Grown Trail runs east to west from Homerville, midway between Waycross & Valdosta, across I-75 to Moultrie, home of the world-famous Sunbelt Expo, taking a NW turn in Camilla and ending at Fort Gaines, just below the Walter F. George Dam at the Alabama line. It stretches 157 miles of beautiful Georgia scenic byways and goes through nine Georgia counties: Clay, Calhoun, Baker, Mitchell, Colquitt, Cook, Berrien, Lanier, and Clinch.
Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said, “We’ve got the best land, the best farmers, the best roads, the best ports, the best airport, and the best research universities. What better way to enhance and grow Georgia’s economy than to have a first-rate marketing program for the state’s largest industry?”
Learn more about the Georgia Grown Trail at their website.