Tourism professionals responsible for informing and educating incoming tourists will get a firsthand look this week at what Bartow County and the surrounding region has to offer.
Visitor information specialists from welcome centers across the state gathered in Bartow Monday for the first leg of a journey through the Historic High Country -- a term used by the Georgia Department Economic Development to describe northwest Georgia.
"It will be a small group, which will be nice because it will be a lot of good, direct interaction," said Regina Wheeler, deputy director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The folks that are coming are from the 11 state visitor centers. So, these are the big centers you will see as you're coming into our state.
"They really are our gatekeepers to the state. So we are very, very honored to have them here and particularly to be the beginning of the tour."
Spanning the course of three days, the familiarization tour begins in Cartersville hitting several local attractions, including the Booth Museum, the Bartow History Museum and Tellus Museum before dining in Euharlee.
Bringing representatives together from various information centers, Historic High Country hopes to add another dimension to their sales pitch when helping visitors decide how to spend their time in Georgia.
"Generally with the visitor information centers, these are the folks that work the front desk there," Wheeler said. "They do generally try to get new folks out -- folks that have not seen the various things that they will be experiencing so that it really makes an impact and that they can sell and share what we have to visitors across the state
"A website or a brochure can only go so far, we can show people things in pictures but until they've come out and really experienced it, it's very hard."
Tuesday morning, the group will head north into Adairsville for a tour of Barnsley Gardens Resort before traveling to Rome/Floyd County. Wednesday and Thursday will find the tour travelling through Waleska, Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Canton and Woodstock.
"History is a big part of what we're selling and regionally, history is a big part of what we're selling," Wheeler said. "Historic High Country, being our branding theme for our region, it implies that we have mountains but the history is so rich here it really does attract a lot of visitors to our area."
Wheeler also is excited to host the group at the Clarence Brown Conference Center giving those at state visitor information centers a glimpse into local offerings and amenities. Emphasis is being given to Bartow County sites during this tour, in part, due to a high number of local representatives participating in the regional tourism association.
"Part of that reason is within that 17-county travel association ... Bartow County probably has more members in that association than just about any other county in our 17-county region." Wheeler said. "We're very fortunate, we've got some excellent museums here, as we all know, and I'm just happy we're getting statewide.