ALBANY, Ga. -- Dignitaries from around the globe will be in Albany today as part of a tour hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Representatives of 23 nations will tour cities across Southwest Georgia including Albany, Tifton, Lakeland, Thomasville and Americus.
"The VIP Tour exposes Georgia's influential consular corps to regions outside metro Atlanta that may have potential interest for international investors and visitors," DCED Commissioner Chris Cummiskey said in a prepared news release. "It allows the consuls the opportunity to interact with Georgia citizens, and highlights not only the diversity of Georgia's business and cultural environments, but also the strength of the state's partnerships with local leaders, which are so important to the economic development process."
For local economic development officials, the tour is viewed as an opportunity to show off the area and hopefully make some connections that will lead to further international investment.
"It's a unique opportunity when we're able to showcase Albany's rich and diversified industrial base and its role in the state economy to the international officials on the VIP Tour," Ted Clem, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, said.
"Among other things, we are known for our manufacturing, our agriculture, our infrastructure and our access to natural resources such as water. Officials will experience all of these first-hand, while enjoying local culinary fare and amenities including Merry Acres Inn and the Flint RiverQuarium, which will give them a flavor of the Southwest Georgia life we all enjoy. We're honored to host such an elite group in our community."