Rashelle Beasley, manager of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the tourism impact on Albany has been strong.
ALBANY — Being polite to strangers is more than good Southern manners.
Many times, it’s tantamount to economic development, Rashelle Beasley, manager of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, says.
The reason? That stranger could very well be a tourist in the Good Life City.
In fact, on an average day in 2010, the most recent year figures are available, tourists spent $504,520 in Dougherty County, according CVB figures.
That’s more revenue than any of the other six years listed on the CVB report.
Looking toward the first full week in May as National Travel and Tourism Week and various local events, Beasley said hotels are jammed.
“It’s really good for the community,” Beasley said. “With the ASU graduation, the Lineman Rodeo at Chehaw and the high school track meet, people are pumping gas in their cars and money into our economy.”
Beasley said she thinks Albany and Southwest Georgia are “well situated” to take advantage of tourism from other parts of the state, and from Florida and Alabama.
The bureau, she said, is actively involved in making it happen.
According to Beasley, the CVB is bidding on several conventions and meetings, and conducting discussions with motor coach operators.
Beasley said that coach tours represent a growing source of tourism dollars, with excursions — current or planned — to attractions such sites from Sherwood’s movies or the Disney film, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.”
Other sources of coach tour interest are various civil rights related sites, including the Albany Civil Rights Institute and specific African-American churches.
“I think it’s time for residents to start looking at Albany as a destination,” Beasley said.