Did you know that according to the Department of Labor, for every one dollar spent at a hotel, three dollars are spent in its surrounding community? Restaurants, entertainment venues, and arts venues all benefit from this halo effect of the visitors that we welcome to our community. Tourism can have a major impact on communities, and for Cobb, it is the County’s largest industry. According to the 2021 Economic Impact Study completed by the Economic Impact Group, Cobb’s tourism industry employs nearly 24,000 people and has an economic impact of $2.2 billion – a huge payoff for our community.
Through the work of Cobb Travel & Tourism, our county’s destination marketing organization, as well as dedicated efforts such as the Marietta Visitors Bureau and Visit Acworth, Cobb is being marketed as a year-round destination, drawing events, activities, and people throughout the entire county. With assets such as high-capacity destinations and charming downtowns, paired with bustling cityscapes, Cobb’s tourism offerings are thriving.
For many years, Cobb has been known as a destination for sports, producing the need for the Cobb Sports Alliance (CSA), a division of Cobb Travel & Tourism which recruits international and national sporting events for youth and adults to the area. Cobb has maintained a strong relationship with baseball, softball, and football through relationships with entities dedicated to these sports. Perfect Game, for example, is an elite-level baseball tournament organization that has called Cobb home for the past 19 years.
During this time of year, youth sports are in full swing as the outdoor sports complexes in Cobb remain busy with various travel leagues and tournaments. The impact of these events extends to Cobb’s hotels, restaurants, and other activities and entertainment. As you venture out for a meal, especially during these summer months, you’re sure to see teams – like those from Perfect Game – in matching uniforms as they enjoy dinner after a long day at the ballpark.
In recent years, we have also gained the reputation as a sports power alley, with three major league teams calling Cobb County home – Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, Major League Rugby’s Rugby ATL, and Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. But the sports scene in Cobb continues to expand beyond these more recognizable teams to several up-and-coming sports. With the recruiting work of the CSA, Cobb is becoming the preferred destination for non-traditional sports, such as climbing, e-sports, mixed martial arts, lacrosse, grappling, and adaptive sports.
Of course, Cobb’s tourism isn’t all sports-related – those visiting come for our indoor gatherings as well. Cobb hosts many premier conventions and tradeshows at the Cobb Galleria Centre, a highlight of which is the annual Anime Weekend Atlanta convention. With more than 35,000 attendees, it is the South’s largest anime convention, celebrating Japanese culture, anime, and manga. A close neighbor to the Cobb Galleria Centre is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, home of the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera. Together, the Cobb Galleria Centre and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre have generated a combined economic impact of $165 million in Cobb County and the state. Thrilling destinations like Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Whitewater draw visitors from throughout the Southeast.
All this success is supported by a robust infrastructure system that enables residents and visitors to easily navigate to different venues, hotels, and restaurants across the county. In 2019, this ease-of-access was put to the test when Super Bowl LIII was hosted in Atlanta. While the headlining game was played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the event generated more than 8,000 room nights booked in Cobb hotels, a spike in flights at the Cobb County International Airport, as well as four additional events being hosted in Cobb. This made Cobb County the only location outside of Atlanta to host a Super Bowl-related activity. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce estimated the total economic impact of the Super Bowl at $400 million. In addition, the successful development of Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta, have proven that Cobb’s infrastructure can handle these large events. In 2022, more than 10 million fans successfully traveled to Cobb from all reaches of Braves Country to see the Braves and visit The Battery Atlanta. Cobb’s tourism industry was once again tested when our Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series. The electric atmosphere at The Battery Atlanta was named the best in baseball by the national media, who were mesmerized by the energy inside and outside Truist Park.
To read the rest of this article, view it on the Cobb Business Journal‘s website here.