Showcasing Savannah's tourism success

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hollywood superstars are setting their sights on Georgia!  In fact, film has such a strong impact on our economy, the tourism industry presented Governor Nathan Deal with a $3 billion check Tuesday in tourism-related tax revenue.

A lot of that money comes from film.

Now, Savannah is working to showcase some of its big tourism success stories in a book. Savannah tourism leaders are ready for their close-ups!

"It's an honor to be featured. It's humbling," said Leonard Massey, general manager of the Hampton Inn Historic District.

Massey worked his way up to GM from a dishwasher.  He is now being featured in a book as a shining example of the success that can come from a thriving tourism industry.

"We are creating a book of those success stories to highlight how the tourism community has impacted the economic development through jobs," said Molly Swagler, vice president of the Tourism Leadership Council.

Massey says he has specifically benefited from the booming film industry.

"We did have some people stay here when they were filming Birth of a Nation," he said.

Now, he works to ensure future business from film crews.

"To make sure that we are providing the right service and the right accommodations so when film crews want to film Savannah, they're confident in their experience staying at the hotel," said Massey.

Savannah is also working to make sure the film industry sticks around for years to come.

"We've been really working hard identifying where there are barriers or gaps related to the growth of this industry and its sustainability," said Brynn Grant, chief operating officer for the Savannah Economic Authority.  "The key is making Savannah a place where it makes sense financially to produce a production here."

There is no current publishing date for the book; however, they estimate it to be out in a few months.

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