Tourism

Members of the Atlanta Consular Corps, diplomats from more than 20 countries, tour Rome’s Chieftains Museum and Major Ridge Home as part of a three-day visit across Northwest Georgia. Full coverage of their visit will run in Sunday’s edition of Rome News-Tribune.

Rome tourism office leaders hope to be able to land a significant role in an upcoming Disney movie. Ann Hortman told Office of Tourism board leaders that Rome’s chances look very good after a series of scouting visits by the production company.

“We’ve been courting a Disney blockbuster,” Hortman said. “Filming would begin sometime in the fall and we’re super excited about it.”

Office of Tourism Director Lisa Smith said that even when films come to nearby communities, such as “Irresistible” in Rockmart, that Rome tends to get some spillover impact.

Through the first quarter of 2019, tourism-related expenditures tracked by the local Office of Tourism has amounted to $2.1 million, which is down about 3.1% from the first quarter of last year.

Rome Communications Director Kristi Kent said the film industry is one of five main targets for her marketing efforts, along with leisure travelers, groups or meetings, sporting events and wedding business.

Kent offered a detailed analysis of her marketing efforts to members of the tourism board during a meeting at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotel. She explained the typical leisure traveler is 49 to 50 years of age, married with an income of close to $100,000 and expects to stay two to three days.

Thirty-eight percent of the leisure visitors come from the greater metro-Atlanta area, which Kent said makes Atlanta a focal point for her marketing efforts.

In terms of print advertising, the Georgia Travel Guide, which is available at all of the state’s welcome centers, is the top buy followed by Southern Living.

Georgia Eats guide is also a major marketing tool available along with radio buys across the entire Georgia Public Broadcasting network.

Facebook is the top social media platform for Rome’s tourism marketing effort and Kent said that wherever she places material, “we’re always directing people to our website.”

When visitors come to town and make a stop at either the tourism office on Jackson Hill or the downtown office at the Rome Area History Museum, the basic visitors guide to attractions in Rome is generally in highest demand, followed by the guides to outdoor amenities and events.

The local film industry guide is third on the pickup list.