New tourism study shows safety, cleanliness concerns when visiting Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - With Memorial Day now behind us, tourists will be in and out of Savannah throughout the rest of the summer.

A new study out shows that tourism is up in Savannah, but overall satisfaction might not be the best.

Visit Savannah does an annual survey to see how tourism fared over the past year. This year, it shows tourism spending went up, but two new categories were added that Savannah did not do too well in.

This is the first year cleanliness and safety and security was added to the satisfaction survey. About 40-percent of visitors said they thought Savannah was dirty and not safe. They say it's hard to know exactly what each visitor was referring to during these categories, but they talked about power washing sidewalks, picking up more trash, and fresh coats of paint here and there.

Visit Savannah took the survey to city council who seemed surprised, but assured each other they had projects in the works to address these issues.

"Those are areas that definitely show concern, right. I think in today's world when people travel they want to feel safe and we all see the stories that go on all around us," said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah.

This same study found more tourists are not only visiting Savannah, but spending more money while in town. Tourism officials say Savannah saw a 4-percent increase in visitor spending last year. When you turn that into dollars, last year's visitor spending made a financial impact of nearly $3 billion.

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