Business

Gwinnett Experiences Another Record Year in Tourism

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According to data recently released by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, with analysis handled by the U.S. Travel Association, Gwinnett County had another record year in the tourism and hospitality industry. In 2014, visitor expenditures exceeded $1.2 billion. Gwinnett experienced its best year of hotel occupancy to date in 2015, with year-end occupancy of 72.3 percent.

In 2014, Gwinnett County’s tourism industry:

  • Generated $1.2 billion in direct travel spending (9.4% increase over 2013)
  • Supported 11,892 jobs (5.2% increase over 2013)
  • Generated $34.5 million in local Gwinnett County tax revenues (11% increase over 2013)
  • Created $44.4 million in Georgia state tax revenues (8.7% increase over 2013)
  • Each Gwinnett County household received $264 in tax relief per-household as a result of the taxes generated by direct travel spending

“2015 was an exciting year for the hospitality community in Gwinnett, and we’re thrilled to see continued growth and diversification,” said Lisa Anders, GCVB Executive Director. “Through tourism and hospitality, we’re able to not only provide our visitors with a great, memorable experience, but also help support our community fiscally through jobs and reduced taxes.”

Gwinnett’s quickly growing racial and ethnic diversification is making its own impression on tourism. Earning the moniker, “The Seoul of the South,” the county has been influenced by the growing Asian culture in the area. From supermarkets to numerous, diverse restaurants, Gwinnett offers visitors the opportunity to experience authentic meals and culture from a variety of regions. The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCVB, doing business as Explore Gwinnett) now has Korean & Mandarin speakers on staff to support this market.

Tourism continues to serve as a significant industry for Gwinnett County, drawing from a diverse mix of facilities (Infinite Energy Center, over 100 hotels and 50 special event facilities), great downtowns, a strong hotel community and increasing nightlife.

Gwinnett has several attractions and facilities to offer tourists and groups, including the Infinite Energy Center, whose attendance topped one million visitors in 2015, as well as serving as the venue for Gwinnett’s five largest conventions.  Many of Gwinnett’s largest meetings and conventions are hosted at the Infinite Energy Arena. Other top visitor generators include the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir (Temple), Suwanee Sports Academy and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, among many others.

The tourism industry in Georgia is the fifth largest employer in the state. With a total economic impact of $57.1 billion, it supports 425,000 jobs statewide. Taxes of $3 billion were generated by tourism in Georgia in 2014.

Georgia’s thriving film industry, which generated over $6 billion in impact in 2015, has also propelled Gwinnett to the forefront of the metro market for film and TV. The development of the Atlanta Media Campus and Eagle Rock TV studios, Gwinnett’s designation as a “Camera Ready” community, and the recent announcement of the Georgia Film Academy at Gwinnett Tech further solidify Gwinnett’s ascension in the film industry.