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State: Tourism could be a big draw
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A nine-member team of state tourism officials gave Effingham County glowing marks in a recent visit.

Led by Bruce Green, director of product development for the state Economic Development Department’s Tourism Division, led the team in a three-day tour of historic sites and review of events. They looked at the county’s potential for developing its tourism. They will return in January to a give a full report of their visit, along with a listing of the products they found and a plan and timetable for development.

County commissioners invited the tourism development team, and the visit was hosted by the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Time prohibited the team from visiting all the sites with tourism potential but they received information on those sites as well.

“You do not have to look far to see these treasures,” said Sherry Loper, chairperson of the ECVB. “There is the settling of the Salzburgers at Ebenezer and their magnificent church, which rates well for interest with international tourist. There is the fact that the first elected-constitutional governor of Georgia, John Adam Treutlen, was a prominent resident of the village of Ebenezer. His election was at the first constitutional General Assembly meeting for the state of Georgia, held in the Jerusalem Lutheran Church at Ebenezer. This has great significance in the history of state.”

Along with Green, the team included representatives from the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division, the Georgia Council for the Arts and a project development manager and heritage tourism specialist from the state tourism office.

When the team returns with its analysis of tourism prospects  for Effingham they will present  a plan to market these assets. The report will be given in a public meeting, which will be announced.