THOMASVILLE, GA (WTXL) -- It's no secret that tourism is huge in Tallahassee, but what about some of the smaller towns in rural Georgia?
It turns out, tourism is on the rise throughout the Peach State.
"If you build a town that people want to live in, you've made a town that people want to visit," says Bonnie Hayes, the Tourism Director for the City of Thomasville.
Just take one look around Thomasville, and you'll see that statement is true. In fact, tourism in the Rose City is up about three percent over the course of the year.
"We're so happy to see that people are finding Thomasville, exploring Thomasville, come in, stay with us and leave those dollars with us," continues Hayes.
For the residents of Thomasville, the more dollars that are spent by visitors, the less money they have to pay in taxes.
Local businesses and eateries really feel the impact from tourists coming into town not only for the big events, but all throughout the year.
"We have people that are out of town, like far away, that have come in and say, 'oh, i heard about you guys from a relative that lives here. We had to come try you out when we come through,' and have just really loved it and have come back, from far like far away," explains Robin Kelly, a manager for The Scoop Deli and Ice Cream.
It's the word of mouth that has really helped this restaurant grow in popularity in recent years.
"We have definitely, I wouldn't be scared to say doubled, in the last five years," says Stephanie Edenfield, another manager at The Scoop Deli and Ice Cream. "We see a lot of new faces on Saturdays. We get a lot of people from Tallahassee and other towns.
And that economic boost is a big deal to businesses across southwest Georgia.
Hayes says she hopes to continue promoting Thomasville to areas even further away to entice more people to visit the city.