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Georgia Tourism Product Development Team to Visit City of Toccoa

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner to join team | 02/28/2017


ATLANTA, February 28, 2017 –The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division announced today that a Tourism Product Development Resource team will visit the City of Toccoa March 7-8, 2017. Georgia Tourism’s resource team is a statewide initiative that provides communities with the resources needed to identify potential tourism product and increase visitor activity throughout the community.

“Our team is excited to meet with Toccoa leaders to explore the next level of cultural infrastructure that will attract even more visitors to this community,” said Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “During this initial visit, we will gather information and research to provide a suggested plan of tourism enhancement that will open new doors to economic development in the community.”

The City of Toccoa was selected by the Office of Tourism Product Development to participate in this year-long development program which provides technical assistance in the form of a reconnaissance visit and strategy for a local community interested in developing and enhancing its tourism product.

The Tourism Product Development Resource team members are comprised of experts in a variety of fields that are specific to areas of potential development in Toccoa. The 10-member team consists of representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Council for the Arts, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Department of Agriculture, cohort communities from across the state and private consultants. The experts range from traditional downtown development to innovate concepts in experiential tourism and agribusiness.

Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, will participate to learn more in-depth about the tourism development needs of Georgia communities.

During the research mission, team members will work with local leadership to assess the portfolio of tourism-related assets within the county in areas including heritage and cultural tourism, nature-based tourism, agritourism and retail development. The resource team’s objectives include cataloguing and discussing assets that are probable candidates for further developing an expanded tourism-based economy within the city. The team will also define solutions to overcome obstacles that may challenge such efforts.

“We are grateful to have been selected by the Georgia Department of Economic Development to partner with their Georgia Tourism Product Development Resource Team as we share our community with them and help them discover that Toccoa is a hidden gem,” said Julie Paysen, president of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. “We have great expectations and are eager to hear the recommendations of the Resource Team. Our goal continues to be to let the world know that Toccoa is a destination point well worth the travel and this partnership will only help us to further accomplish that goal!”

The resource team will conduct additional research following the site visit and return to the community in approximately 120 days with a full written report and community presentation of recommendations.

Details of this community presentation will be announced at a later date.

Click here for more information on Georgia’s Tourism Product Development efforts.

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.



Emily Murray
Communications Specialist
Georgia Department of Economic Development
[email protected]