At the invitation of the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, and with the support of the Effingham County commissioners, three staff members of the state Department of Economic Development’s tourism office spent two days in Effingham reviewing the sites of tourism interest and began the working process with the Effingham CVB to develop a local plan to enhance tourism in the county.
The visitors were excited about the possibilities of many of the significant historic sites that would attractive for tourism development in Effingham. The history that spans the beginning of Effingham with the arrival of the Salzburgers (an event of international interest) to the many activities around the Revolutionary and Civil Wars in Effingham.
There are several sites that have been developed in Effingham, including the Living History Site and Effingham Museum in the old jail in Springfield and several locations around the site of New Ebenezer centered on the historic Jerusalem Lutheran Church and the Salzburger Museum.
According to a spokesperson for the CVB, this visit is a preliminary to a visit by state tourism team in November. This team of specialists will spend three days in the county, visiting sites, working with local leaders in the government and community for the development of a plan for tourism development in Effingham County.
“The role of the CVB is to work with all entities, helping to find resources and support necessary for the plan to eventually come to fruition,” said Sherry Loper, chairperson of the Effingham CVB. “The various sites and entities will have to provide the leadership for these plans to develop. We are excited to see that county government is showing their interest in developing tourism, by lending their support by inviting the state to bring their team here to work with us.
“The state tourism office has the expertise in the area of tourism: finding grants, developing the right plan to market and the development of marketing tools.”