EVANS COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Evans County is looking to boost its tourism numbers.
A team from the Georgia Department of Economic Development is in the county right now, touring different locations and providing feedback on how to improve tourism in the area.
The group made it into town Tuesday and began touring sites throughout the county. They continued those tours Wednesday and will wrap up on Thursday. They say some of the sites they’re visiting are hidden jewels in Evans County.
“Claxton is known for its fruitcake, but there are so many more assets that they have here, so we are here to bring in professionals we have,” said Cindy Eidson, Director, Tourism Product Development.
The Tourism Product Development teams were formed in 2010. They are made up of around eight people who go around and tour different areas and give feedback on how they can improve tourism in their area.
“We have someone from the Georgia River Keepers. We have different folks that are representatives that are consultants that bring in that wealth of information we need,” Eidson said.
That group of people will then work on a report to give the county leaders about their findings. Two weeks after their tour, they will lay out all their ideas and start putting together their report. They think about options each space could offer.
“Could it be live, work, artist space, could it be bringing in more small business incubator type program? We just want to see how to really bring folks - bring money to the community, but also look at products the local residents can use," Eidson said.
After the team visits an area and does a report, that area can then apply for a grant. Locals say even though Evans County is a rural area, it hosts more tourism each year than some may think.
“If you hang around town, around the bakery, hang around the river or boat ramps, there’s a lot folks that are not from here that are coming here to enjoy things that we take for granted sometimes," said Darin McCoy, Evans County Probate Court Judge.