As we all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing or self-isolation, we have entered a new reality where the CDC has issued advisories against travel for our own country. To help do our part, here in Madison it was with heavy hearts that we closed the doors to our Welcome Center – usually the first stop for our visitors the 360 days a year our doors are open. In our small community of less than 5,000 people, tourism plays a major role in supporting the small businesses we hold dear – from the shops and restaurants our guests enjoy to the cozy B&B’s, Inns and hotels they make home when they visit for joyful life events like weddings, family vacations, holidays or even just a much needed weekend getaway with their favorite people.
While we always do our best to welcome every visitor with a warm smile and share the stories of our favorite places, the impact every visitor has to our small community is tenfold what we share with them. Tourism in our county supported 459 jobs, generated $1.55 million in local tax revenues and boosted our local economy by injecting $53.84 million in direct, domestic traveler expenditures across businesses in Morgan County in 2018, according to the U.S. Travel Association. According to this same study, if it were not for the jobs supported by the tourism industry, the unemployment rate in our county would have been 8.6 percent, as opposed to its 3.6 percent, and each household would need to be taxed an additional $600 per year to replace the taxes generated by tourism.
While we are heartbroken that we are not able to welcome you, our essential guests, right now when we need each other most; we understand why you must change your travel dates. But we hope you won’t change your plans to visit us. Just know, Madison is so grateful to have you – and whenever you come, we’ll be here for you.
Until that happy day comes, we hope to be a bright spot in your week by sharing our favorite things with you on VisitMadisonGA.com. And what better way to start than to share the story of the hero that saved Madison during one of our town’s darkest hours? This is the story of Joshua Hill and how he helped Madison become the town that Sherman refused to burn during his March to the Sea.
Could you be the hero of our next chapter?
Stay safe and we hope you’ll visit our site next week when we share this story!