Governor Brian P. Kemp, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), recently announced that calendar year 2022 was record-breaking for the state’s tourism industry, welcoming the largest number of visitors the state has ever seen. Governor Kemp shared that 167.7 million domestic and international visitors in 2022 brought in $39.8 billion in spending, surpassing the previous record set in 2019 by $2 billion. Total economic impact for Georgia travel and tourism reached $73 billion in 2022 – a 13 percent year-over-year increase. Travel demand supported more than 442,600 jobs across the state, an increase of more than 20,000 jobs between 2021 and 2022.

In 2022, Columbia County’s tourism industry supported 2,391 jobs and generated $187.3 million dollars in total visitor spending. Visitors to Columbia County generated $14.8M in state and local taxes. As a result, each Columbia County household saved $311 thanks to taxes generated by tourism. Columbia County consistently ranks 27th out of 159 Georgia Counties for total Tourism Expenditures. In addition, Columbia County’s lodging tax collection saw an increase of 23%.

“Thanks to Georgia’s incredible natural wonders, our great small towns with welcoming families, our major cities and attractions, and much more, our tourism industry continues to reach new heights,” said Governor Brian Kemp.

“Tourism is a key part of Georgia’s economic development success story, with benefits that spread across communities in all regions of our state,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “The latest numbers are a testament to Georgia’s dedicated tourism industry professionals who constantly provide the best visitor experience possible, bolstered by the great work Explore Georgia has done to market the state as a top travel destination.”