Lake Lanier is making its presence known across the country, thanks to programs initiated and managed by the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau. Funded by the hotel-motel tax in Hall County, the organization’s mission is to promote leisure, group and business travel to the county.
From attending regional and national trade shows to creating special campaigns to draw visitors to the lake and area attractions, bureau staff tells the Lake Lanier story in multiple ways.
“We’ve appeared in a number of travel, leisure and consumer magazines, including Southern Living, Mountain Tourist, Southbound Magazine and Upstate Living,” said Stacey Dickson, president of the bureau. “People come from across the country to visit the lake; we want to ensure that they have memorable, exciting and repeatable experiences.”
The lake and Hall County participated in the April Southeastern Tourism Society Domestic Showcase in Huntsville, Ala., where representatives met with more than 40 journalists, plus those in the bus and group tour booking industry. Additionally, the bureau co-hosted Boomers in Groups Conference with Explore Gwinnett, meeting with more than 100 group tour planners.
At the Atlanta Camping and RV Show, staff distributed more than 4,000 Lake Lanier tote bags and information about how to plan a visit to Hall County and Lake Lanier.
New publications created by the organization include a fold-out visitor guide and a separate camping guide.
Downtown Flowery Branch is now home to a Lake Lanier Visitors Center and Souvenir Shop. Currently staffed on Fridays and Saturdays, the plan is to expand the hours during the summer.
“By the end of May, we plan to have the results of our comprehensive tourism research study,” Dickson said. “We’ve already learned quite of bit of information about where our visitors come from and what they enjoy doing when they are here.”
For instance, preliminary findings report that approximately 50 percent of visitors come to visit friends or relatives.
“People who live here, if they don’t have a lake home, often do a short-term rental with our many lake houses through VRBO and AirBnB,” Dickson said. “After all, if you don’t have a house on the lake or a boat, the next best thing is to know someone who does.”
Short-term rentals such as VRBO and AirBnB around Lake Lanier account for good growth in the travel and tourism market.
To learn more about the Lake Lanier CVB and to find out about the latest events and news, visit www.discoverlakelanier.com.
Photos: courtesy LLCVB