“In May we did it in celebration of National Tourism Month, which we were very pleased and happy to have a full busload plus some,” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the local CVB. “We literally had to turn away quite a few folks on that particular tour. That tour was designed as literally a whirlwind tour from one end of the county to the other. So while we saw a lot of things, there were many things that were missed.
“We are a very blessed community in terms of having a lot of historical attractions, a lot of unique places and based on feedback from that tour, we decided to go ahead and roll one out here in August. I’m not sure how frequently we will do them, but as long as they continue to be popular with the public we will certainly do this at least several times a year.”
Geared toward area residents and representatives of the tourism and hospitality industries, the Lesser Known Jewels of Bartow County Tour will showcase numerous attractions from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Departing and ending at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, the bus tour will visit the Allatoona Dam, Euharlee Covered Bridge, Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, Bartow History Museum, Rose Lawn Museum, Euharlee History Museum and Kingston Museum.
“The Convention & Visitors Bureau’s mission is to introduce our community to others and bring in tourism dollars, have people come and visit and stay overnight and spend their money in our hotels, in our restaurants, in our shops and our attractions,” Wheeler said. “While we put a lot of money into advertising and broadcasting this throughout the world, we think that one of our absolute best ways of promoting ourselves is word of mouth. That is priceless advertising.
“You really can’t buy it. By turning a lot of our local residents and nearby residents into advocates, if you will, by having an enjoyable tour, spending a day at our attractions and learning a lot about our history, we think that is going to go far in terms of promoting our community.”
While the tour can help residents promote Bartow through word of mouth, Tara Currier — manager of the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority and co-founder of the Bartow County Hospitality Association — said it also helps representatives of the tourism and hospitality industries enhance a visitor’s overall experience.
“I think in order for anyone in the hospitality industry to truly be hospitable, that we need to understand all the various assets that we have in our community, from the attractions to all of the properties and restaurants so that we’re able to promote those to visitors coming to our community,” Currier said. “If they’re at an attraction, we can encourage they visit another or if they’re staying at one of the many properties throughout the county [then] we can again suggest restaurants for them to eat at and other things to see and do while they’re here.”
Since space is limited, tour reservations need to be placed by July 31. Tickets, costing $20 per person, will cover admission, transportation and lunch at Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse in Euharlee.
For more information or to place reservations, call the CVB at 770-387-1357.