As reported in the Red & Black, in a July 7 press release the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), The Classic Center and The Classic Center Cultural Foundation announced the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Ciné and Popfest as the recipients of the Athens Local Product Development Grant.
Established this year, the grant functions as a program intended to develop tourism in Athens by funding local organizations. With the goal of attracting more visitors into town, a total of $15,000 will be awarded to the recipients.
According to statistics provided by the CVB in the press release, tourism contributes $281.31 million in spending to the town, 2,664 jobs and $19.04 million in local and state tax revenues.
Collaborating with the CVB, the Cultural Foundation is an organization that helps provide cultural programming to Athenians in the form of "diverse performing, visual and culinary arts programs."
"We are excited to be able to make this investment in tourism product development," CVB Director Chuck Jones said in the press release. "By collaborating with local partners, we can make the best use of funds to enhance our tourism products and increase the economic impact through growth in overnight visitors."
The decision to distribute grant funding was made through an extensive application process.
Applications looked to measure "the strength of the applicant’s intent and ability to attract visitors and lodging nights from outside of Athens."
With this funding, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host a Garden Travel Series this coming January, a time the press release described as a slower for Athens tourism.
Ciné plans to run a three-day, three-night program called "Ciné Filmmaker and Television Artist in Residency." Popfest, itself already a major tourist event, will be using funds to expand advertising for the four-day August music festival.
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