Butts County needs to increase its hotel-motel tax

Published on : Thursday, November 23, 2017

Butts County hotel-motel taxButts County needs to hike its hotel-motel tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and use the increased revenue to hire a part-time tourism professional, according to a report by a Georgia Department of Economic Development tourism team.

 
The Tourism Product Development Resource Team presented its findings on Butts County and prescribed ways by which the county can boost its profile. The team visited Butts County for two days and one night in May, touring a number of sites from the Village at Indian Springs to the city of Jenkinsburg.

 
According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the city of Jackson collected $16,531 in hotel-motel tax in 2016 while Butts County collected $1,110.

 
Butts County should also stock its visitor’s center with gift shop items made locally and leverage one of the truck stops near Interstate 75 as an unmanned visitor’s center with a brochure kiosk.

 
Butts County’s notoriety as a filming location for movies and TV with murals, photo booths and other entertainment assets can also be used in a proper way.

 
Cindy Eidson, director of Tourism Product Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said that film was a $7 billion industry in Georgia in 2016 and was expected to grow to $9.5 billion in 2017. Georgia communities like Senoia and Covington have also made use of their locations in popular films and TV series to become popular tourism destinations.

 
Local art was also recommended for downtown alleyways, along a planned trail from Jackson to Dauset Trails Nature Center and at the conference center under construction at Indian Springs State Park.

 
The tourism team also made recommendations for improving signage, walkability and leveraging agri-tourism, mentioning that agriculture is the state’s No. 1 industry followed by tourism at No. 2 spot.

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