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Sumter County: Historical tourism hotspot

Right next to the popular Windsor Hotel, the welcome center is the most common stomping ground for travelers.

By the amount of foot traffic on any given weekend, it’s no secret tourism, especially historical tourism, is booming in Sumter County.

Right next to the popular Windsor Hotel, the welcome center is the most common stomping ground for travelers.

“People stop here first so they really understand what there is to do and how to do it.”

Nicole Thurston is the tourism director for Americus and Sumter County.

“This new focus on tourism in the community is really showing a big difference on the economic impact here.”

From Andersonville to the Jimmy Carter National Historic site, travel and tourism employed 437 people in 20-15. In the same year, the city and county generated 46 million dollars in direct tourism spending.

“We just had to build a strong foundation. So far everything is working out. We are really proud.”

What’s next?

While this year had been one for the record books, as far as money generated in tourism, Thurston hopes to continue to see an increase in tourism in the years to come.

In the next couple of weeks, the tourism department will roll out a new initiative, including re-vamping the welcome center and re-branding the community.

“We are about a month out from unveling our new brand which is going to be how do you take all of these unique communities and come up with one identity. But we think we did it.

On top of the new brand, Thurston says by the end of the year you will be able to take cemetery, agri-tourism and African American heritage tours.

These are areas where we have strong stories. And now those stories are going to be told in a more organized fashion. So we’ll hopefully have more product for people to come and enjoy.

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