Savannah’s tourism continues to rebound from the effects of the pandemic

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:59 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - New numbers are in showing Savannah’s tourism is continuing to rebound from the effects of the pandemic.

The latest tourism numbers really compare last year to 2019 to get a better sense of where business is compared to a year not impacted by COVID.

The most recent data shows 2021 was on par with 2019 in the number of overnight visitors coming to the Hostess City.

There was one difference though that got the attention of business and tourism leaders.

“What we really saw was our day tripper numbers grow, which really makes sense when you think about coming out of the pandemic, sort of COVID fatigue and better vaccine distribution and so forth. We had more people jumping in their cars and getting out and exploring,” Joe Marinelli, President said.

And Marinelli point out those who are visiting, are spending.

“The great thing about 2021′s numbers is that the visitor spend number went up about 5-percent, and now exceeds 3.3-billion dollars of spending in our community,” Marinelli said.

That’s the kind of spending Savannah’s businesses need, like newly opened Locally Made Savannah.

“I was a little worried when we opened about the whole gas crisis, with the gas going up. But we haven’t seen a downtick in the number of tourists that we’re seeing on the streets and visiting our city either. So I think people are just adjusting and realizing that after COVID that they need to get out and go out and live a little,” Tonya Rintye, Owner, Locally Made Savannah said,

Visit Savannah says the spending numbers aren’t just reflective of business being done here in the Historic District, that it’s all over the city.

The current data indicated that 68 percent of Savannah’s overnight travelers are repeat visitors.

They site Savannah and Chatham County’s shopping, sightseeing, landmarks/historical sites, and culinary experiences as the reason for return trips.

The visitor’s average length of stay remains 2.5 days.

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