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Chamber hosts Group travel planners

Contributed report

Group travel planners from across the U.S. tour LaGrange’s Biblical History Center.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_BHC-Tour.jpgGroup travel planners from across the U.S. tour LaGrange’s Biblical History Center.

Brian Jewell | courtesy The Group Travel Leader

The Biblical meal at Biblical History Center was a highlight of the recent visit to LaGrange by group travel planners from across the U.S.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_BHC-Meal.jpgThe Biblical meal at Biblical History Center was a highlight of the recent visit to LaGrange by group travel planners from across the U.S.

Brian Jewell | courtesy The Group Travel Leader

LaGRANGE — More than 20 group travel planners were in Troup County recently to visit some of the tourism resources in the community.

Coordinated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development — GDEcD — in conjunction with The Group Travel Leader publication, and the Chamber’s Tourism Division, the visit included stops at Hills & Dales Estate, Biblical History Center and Bellevue.

“LaGrange was awesome,” said Lacey Cameron, domestic business development manager for tourism at the GDEcD, after a day of visiting sites. “Each attraction was truly remarkable, and the feedback received from the group tour operators was excellent.”

In the most recent figures available from 2014, Troup County’s tourism industry supported 1,163 jobs, generated $156.3 million in direct travel spending, created $5.3 million in state tax revenues and generated $4.4 million in local tax revenues, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.

“The destinations and hospitality were phenomenal,” said Holly Winner, GDEcD regional tourism project manager for the Presidential Pathways region. “The group is grateful for the hard work each of the tourism professionals put into making their time in LaGrange wonderful.”

As executive editor of The Group Travel Leader, Brian Jewell has seen his share of tourist destinations and was impressed with what the community has to offer.

“All of our travel planners were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful attractions we explored in LaGrange,” he said. “Hills & Dales is a first-rate tour home and garden, and the historical experience at the Biblical History Center was much more engaging and fascinating than anyone expected. I think it’s safe to say that many of these travel planners will return to LaGrange with their clients.”

Tourism will be the focus of the Chamber’s April 12 Early Bird Breakfast as PGA professional and TV personality Charlie Rymer shares his unique humor and insight. Rymer joined Golf Channel in 2008 and currently serves as a co-host for Morning Drive, the network’s daily news and lifestyle program. Tourism professionals will be recognized as the 2016 Tourism Service Star and Visionary of the Year Awards will be presented.

For more information, contact Dave Marler, Director of Tourism, at 706-884-8671 or dave@lagrangechamber.com.

From a press release submitted by LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.