The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development, along with the six other communities that make up Hospitality Highway, received the Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Partnership Champion Award during the 2018 Governor’s Tourism Conference on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
The award is given to an alliance that collaborates to increase visitation and tourism expenditures in Georgia.
The Hospitality Highway partnership is made up of the destination marketing offices for seven communities along Ga. 400: Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, Dawsonville and Dahlonega. The partnership was given the award for its collaborative effort displayed in creating the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail. The Farm Trail brochure was made available to the public in May of 2018 and promotes the great variety of agritourism destinations that are open to the public along Ga. 400.
“We were so honored to receive the Tourism Champion Award for Partnership,” said Christie Moore, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development. “The Hospitality Highway partnership is one of our greatest tourism assets as it allows us to collaboratively market our community and leverage our dollars as a group to reach much larger audiences than we could reach individually.”
The idea to create the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail originated in Dawson County.
“In 2016, the Dawson County Agricultural Committee was seeking a way to better promote their local agritourism destinations,” Moore said. “They were interested in creating a farm trail but wanted a fresh, creative take on the idea.”
After researching trails around the state, Moore determined there were no trails in Georgia that connected urban to rural areas. This led to the idea of creating the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail along Ga. 400.
“The partners of Hospitality Highway quickly took the initiative to create the trail since it would be an innovative way to better serve their agricultural destinations (who often are left out of printed collateral due to their seasonal nature) and strengthen the brand of Hospitality Highway,” Moore said.
Through the support of the partnership, the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail- Georgia’s Only Urban to Rural Agricultural Trail- was launched with printed and digital brochures that highlight 118 diverse destinations throughout Hospitality Highway’s seven communities.
“We are very proud of the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail and were thrilled to lead the process of creating the brochure so that we can better market our local agritourism destinations like Burt’s Pumpkin Farm and the Amicalola Regional Farmers Market,” Moore said.
Copies of the Hospitality Highway Farm Trail brochure are available at the Dawson County Welcome Center, as well as, online at dawson.org or hospitalityhighway.com.