Clayton visitor’s bureau to celebrate big tourism impact

— Somewhere, Scarlett O’Hara is smiling.

That’s because Clayton County’s tourism industry generated a $1.166 billion economic impact and 30,880 hospitality jobs last year, according to the county’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

In a written statement to announce the impact, Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau interim Executive Director Frenda Turner called the tourism industry “big business” for the county “that continues to grow.”

While Clayton County, as the setting for the fictional Tara plantation, is forever tied to “Gone With the Wind,” the county’s tourism offerings go beyond southern belles strolling down the street pontificating on how “tomorrow is another day.” Attractions range from Stately Oaks Plantation and the Road to Tara Museum to the Arts Clayton Gallery, Spivey Hall and the state and national archives.

“Tourism affects everyone who lives and works in Clayton County,” said Turner. “Besides seeing the impact in just our attractions and hotels, Clayton County’s restaurants, gas stations, stores and many more businesses see and feel the impact.”

The convention and visitor’s bureau has announced plans to celebrate tourism’s impact on the county next week as part of National Tourism Week observances.

Officials will present a symbolic check, representative of the economic impact, to county commissioners during their meeting Tuesday night.

The CCCVB will also present its Golden Tourism Award to the Clayton County Department of Economic Development and its Golden Service Award to Stately Oaks volunteer Joyce Wright.