New study finds increase in tourism spending around Savannah, Chatham County

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A new study finds more tourists are visiting the Hostess City, and they're digging a little deeper into their pockets during their stay.

Tourism officials say Savannah saw a four-percent increase in visitor spending last year, and that additional spending could be the reason many residents have a job.

When you hear about a four-percent increase, you may not be too impressed. But let's take that percent and turn it into dollars. Last year's visitor spending made a financial impact of nearly $3 billion, and Visit Savannah says that is the highest figure to date.

In total, visitation to the Savannah-area rose by 1.7-percent with visitors staying an average of two and a half days in Savannah/Chatham County.

Visit Savannah's president says many of the businesses around Savannah and Chatham County depend on tourism dollars. He says when businesses see more money, they're able to hire more people.

And, it's not just the businesses in the Historic District. Although this is a very popular area, Visit Savannah's president says businesses all around the county are benefiting from these tourism dollars.

"This is people on Tybee, staying on the Southside doing youth sports tournaments, it's people shopping at the Tanger Outlets -- so, you know, it's the entire region, it's not just the Historic District," said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah.

Within the next few months, Marinelli says his team will be using social media, print, and Visit Savannah's website to showcase surrounding communities, which could help lure visitors to other parts of the city and county.

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