Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, and is essential to a community’s economic vitality, sustainability, and profitability. Tourism is the Georgia’s second largest industry and heritage tourism is its fastest-growing segment. Georgia is among the top 10 states in the country in heritage tourism visitation. More travelers than ever are walking the historic streets of Savannah, visiting the remnants of Native American culture, exploring antebellum plantations, following the path of the Civil Rights Movement, and discovering agricultural history around the state.
The historic and cultural resources associated with people, events, or aspects of a community’s past give that community its sense of identity and help tell its story. These resources are the most tangible reflections of a community’s heritage. The recognition of an area’s historic resources can bring about neighborhood revitalization, increased and sustainable tourism, economic development through private investment, and citizenship building.
Resources and external links
The Heritage Tourism Handbook: A How-to-Guide for Georgia  was co-produced in March 2010 by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) . The full-color, 63-page book provides guidance on developing, implementing, and evaluating a community's heritage tourism potential.
Tourism Product Development Team  - Tourism is often a preferred economic development strategy, particularly in rural areas of our state. Special interest tourism such as eco-tourism, heritage tourism, and cultural tourism create opportunities for communities to identify, package and market their existing assets. Collaboration among various local groups and agencies is essential to enhancing and developing local tourism product. Multiple state agencies, including HPD, GDEcD, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs are collaborating on tourism product development projects. Read their reports online.