CVB set goals, focuses on projects
The Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau has been keeping themselves busy as was explained in a recent report given by CVB Executive Director Marguerite Copelan to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners and the Madison City Council.
The Welcome Center received some 42,000 visitors during 2002, a figure that represents a six percent increase from the previous year, according to the report. When asked, Copelan said that those numbers continue to rise.
"Winter was a little bit flat, but we continue to have increases," she said. "We’re just now coming into our busiest season with spring."
Copelan also presented a list of upcoming goals and projects on which the CVB will focus during the next two years. Increasing tourism via additional advertising and promotion and the development of a "Downtown Inn" to host conferences and other meetings were among items listed in the presentation.
Copelan later discussed the significance of the tourism industry in terms of revenue for both the city of Madison and Morgan County.
"The hospitality industry has probably the greatest sales tax impact than any other industry," she said. A study by the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism reported over $32.4 million in tourism expenditures was spent in Morgan County over the last fiscal year. However, the figure has been disputed as more detailed information as to point of sales and other retail factors have not been readily available to further examine that number.
Representatives from the CVB recently returned f
rom a 10-day exhibition at the Charlotte Spring Show, where they attempted to bring even more visitors to the Madison area. The group also hosted the Taste of Madison event this past week. According to Copelan, approximately 26 percent of the crowd attending the event were from outside of Morgan County.
"We’ve tried to market it a little bit out," said Copelan. "We feel that it is a growing regional event, and that is what we would like it to be."
The CVB is showing no signs of slowing in the immediate future as it readies for a variety of upcoming events. The Cultural Center will play host to over 800 expected visitors for the May Tour of Homes, while even more tourists are scheduled to arrive April 12 for the Bike Ride Across Georgia event.
"We’ve definitely got a lot going on," said Copelan.