'Georgia Traveler' episode to highlight Tellus tonight
by Marie Nesmith
Jan 06, 2012 | 2356 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Zelski with “Georgia Traveler” visits Tellus Science Museum for the episode that will premiere tonight at 8. Georgia Public Broadcasting/Special
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While Tellus Science Museum has attracted more than 550,000 visitors since opening January 2009, the Cartersville venue will soon receive a broader audience, courtesy of Georgia Public Broadcasting. Tonight at 8, a 30-minute episode of "Georgia Traveler" will introduce viewers to the museum, along with sites in Augusta, Midtown Atlanta and Whitesburg.

Along with touring Tellus, "Georgia Traveler" staff also spoke with the museum's executive director Jose Santamaria, astronomy program manager David Dundee and marketing director Joe Schulman.

"We walked through all the galleries," Schulman said. "We went out to the solar house and the observatory as well. I think they were really interested in the size of the museum -- 120,000 square feet.

"I want people who see this episode to realize that Tellus is a world-class science museum. We're a Smithsonian affiliate. If you come and you bring your family, you're going to spend a day here and you're going to have a lot of fun and you're going to learn at the same time."

Located at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, Tellus is comprised of four main galleries -- The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science In Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard -- a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. Along with its permanent collection, the museum is featuring a lecture on solar energy by David Tilley tonight at 7 and the temporary exhibit "Earth from Space" is being displayed through April 22.

"We were honored to be picked for it," Schulman said about being featured on "Georgia Traveler." "As many people as we do have who visit the museum, there are a lot of people who have never been here and a lot of people who just don't know about us yet. I think this will be really eye-opening for those people who have never been even to Cartersville and they'll realize that Cartersville is home to some really great museums -- Tellus, the Booth, the Bartow History Museum."

In addition to Tellus, several other Bartow sites have been previously highlighted on "Georgia Traveler," some of which have included Barnsley Gardens Resort, Red Top Mountain State Park and Lake Allatoona. With the show presenting these attractions to viewers across Georgia, Regina Wheeler -- deputy director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau -- said this increased exposure presents a win-win opportunity as far as in-state tourism. According to the CVB, an overnight traveler spends about $129 per day, which includes expenses, such as lodging, meals, gas and tourist sites. The average day-trip visitor in Georgia spends $47.

"'Georgia Traveler' does have a very large following," Wheeler said. "It is a program that we as a Convention & Visitors Bureau have actually supported through advertising in years past. So we feel very strongly about its viewership and about the results that come from 'Georgia Traveler.'

"People see features there. It's much more than what you could see in a commercial. They get the idea that that may be the next place that they want to get away to. The next place that they want to visit. I think it's a great opportunity for Tellus to be featured. They have had numerous visitors as we all know but there are still many Georgians that have not seen this wonderful museum."

While the episode will premiere tonight, an encore presentation will air Saturday at 6:30 p.m.