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      Albany finds itself on the map in more ways than one

      May 5th through the 13th marks the national travel and tourism week, an event held all over the United States to inform residents what their community has to offer.

      Albany held its own version to show the area that we are an up and coming tourist spot.

      "It's important for the community to realize that Albany is becoming a destination and we are part of the travel industry," said Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager, Rashelle Beasley.

      In fact, tourism in our area is so large it employs 1,980 people in Dougherty County alone and has collected $184,000,000 in domestic travel spending.

      "It puts so much into our economy when we have conferences come in, sporting events come in. Then while they're here they can also go and see all of the attractions that we have. It's very important for our economy," said Sandy Gregors, Director of Sales and Marketing for Merry Acres Inn and Event Center.

      Earlier this afternoon, hotels and local attractions set up shop upstairs in the Albany welcome center to work together and promote our community.

      "It's the reason we're here. If we don't work together, we are going to fall apart, pretty much. We need everybody to work together, said Thronateeska Program Coordinator, Allison Young.

      The teamwork seems to be working, after a plateau that spanned almost 5 years, tourism numbers in Albany have been steadily climbing.

      Tomorrow morning at 10 A.M., Albany's travel workers will hold a rally led by Beasley in front of the welcome center to emphasize and support the economic impact tourism has made on our community.

      For a complete list of local attractions, events and more, go to .