Atlanta Drew an Estimated 40 Million Visitors Last Year

May 1, 2013

Atlanta is attracting more visitors all the time, according to new numbers from the Convention and Visitors Bureau.  It estimates a record 40.4 million people visited Atlanta last year.   

ACVB officials said, while major sports events got much of the public attention, the city is lucky to have a diverse set of attractions; luring families and conventioneers, too--all of whom boost the city’s businesses, and tax collections.

But the city will send $200 million from the hotel-motel tax to the construction of a new stadium for the Falcons.  And that raises a question, according to Holy Cross College economics professor Victor Matheson.

“Are you going to take all these folks who come, and use the revenue they generate to pay for city services in general?" Matheson said.  "Or are you going to direct the revenue that they generate specifically for a new stadium or other sports infrastructure?”

But ACVB president and CEO William Pate said the new stadium itself will generate more money for the city, because it will host more special, non-Falcon events, than the current Georgia Dome does.

“So the additional revenue would be available for the city, to allocate as they chose,” Pate said.

In the last fiscal year, the City government took in $48.5 million from the hotel-motel tax.  The estimate of 40.4 million visitors was done by the research firm D.K. Shifflet and Associates, based on monthly surveys of 50,000 U.S. households.