Walker County & City of LaFayette Recognized for Tourism Efforts

Cartersville, GA – Walker County’s growing reputation as an outdoor adventure destination just received a boost from regional travel industry professionals.  Northwest Georgia’s Historic High Country Travel Association (HHCTA) recognized Walker Rocks with the 2018 Award for Association Excellence for Best Marketing Campaign.

Walker Rocks, a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Walker County Government, highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in the county for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor experiences.  The campaign launched with the creation of videos highlighting local attractions, a start-up grant competition to encourage business growth in the tourism industry and the introduction of walkerrocks.com and several social media platforms, among other efforts.

“It’s thrilling to know that others in the region are taking note of what we have to offer here in Walker County,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber is proud to be part of the collaborative team working to showcase and share the assets of this community with the rest of the world.”

Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director for Walker County Government, said “This validates the valuable role tourism plays in our community.  Six months in and we’re already seeing an increase in sales tax revenue and a boost in occupancy at area accommodations.”  Wardlaw added, “Walker Rocks is fun, but Walker Rocks is also an economic initiative to help bring equity to our tax base, which in turn helps our citizens.”

HHCTA, which is comprised of travel industry professionals from a 17-county area, also honored one of Walker County’s cities for its tourism efforts.  HHCTA named the City of LaFayette’s Honeybee Festival as Best Event and LaFayette Mayor Andy Arnold as Tourism Advocate of the Year.

“Walker Rocks” Outdoor Adventure Tourism Initiative Launched in Walker County

Chickamauga, GA – The Walker County Chamber and Walker County Government proudly launch Walker Rocks, an initiative to showcase the unique outdoor activities available in Walker County.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in our community for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. This new tourism focus, which includes the creation of WalkerRocks.com, invites outdoor enthusiasts around the world to come explore Walker County’s environmental wonders.

In 2016, the tourism industry supported 640 jobs in Walker County and generated over $63 million in direct tourist spending. “Walker County has organically developed into a destination for people seeking outdoor adventures, but there is plenty of room for growth,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber. “The experiences available in Walker County create lasting memories and it’s time to share those experiences with others,” added Wilson.

Walker Rocks is a platform to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to make the Walker County trip. “Walker County is the outdoor adventure destination of the south,” noted Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director for Walker County Government. “Those who come to ride horses, hike to waterfalls or venture through our caves will spend money here, increasing demand for new businesses, such as outfitters, restaurants and hotels,” added Wardlaw.

Along with the launch of the Walker Rocks brand, Wilson revealed plans for the “Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge,” a pitch competition to help a new recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County. A $5,000 start-up grant will be offered to the winner, funded by a partnership between the Chamber and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Applications are available starting today at WalkerRocks.com and due by August 20.

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