by Andrea Doyle | May 28, 2013
6-13-atlanta
Atlanta's 189-acre Piedmont Park is gorgeous


In 2012, Atlanta set a record for visitors in a single year, welcoming 42 million people. This is part of a long-term trend that has seen visitor numbers increase by 28 percent over the last decade, a time when more than $5 billion in new attractions, restaurants, and hotels was unveiled. The increase pushed Atlanta to become one of the top destinations for travelers from across the country. 

“Today is an historic day for Atlanta and its hospitality industry, and confirms Atlanta’s position as one of the country’s top travel destinations,” said William Pate, president and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, at a press conference announcing the milestone.

Atlanta’s hospitality industry looks to continue this growth by opening another $2.5 billion in development by 2017. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame, and Atlanta Streetcar are all slated to open in downtown Atlanta during 2014. The Atlanta Streetcar project will connect the Martin Luther King Jr. Center complex to Atlanta’s convention corridor and Luckie Marietta District’s restaurants and nightlife. Ponce City Market and Buckhead Atlanta will also bring two unique shopping experiences to the city, and continued progress on the BeltLine will offer new pathways to explore the city.

But the city has big plans beyond next year, as the Atlanta Falcons will move to a new, $1 billion retractable-roof stadium in 2017 — a venue that will also be used for meetings and events. The new stadium will become part of the three-facility Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) campus, which currently includes the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Georgia Dome.

 “Tourism is one of the top economic drivers for Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “We are proud that Atlanta welcomed more than 40 million visitors in 2012, and with all of the exciting development occurring in our city, this number will continue to grow.”

This year is the Atlanta CVB’s 100th anniversary, and member organizations are offering special deals. Atlanta is also hosting five conventions this year that have never before met in the city.