Due South

The US Southeast is a place of American origins, home to mythic characters like Atticus Finch, Tom Sawyer and even Forest Gump, to old world manners and new world encounters. It’s all still there to be experienced, and now further enhanced with a slate of new attractions to help reach visitor spending targets, writes Ted Davis in the latest issue of Canadian Travel Press.

Liz Bittner, president and CEO of Travel South USA, related how the tourism industry in the 12 member states of the Travel South collective was valued at US$8.8 billion before the damaging onset of Covid-19 in 2020. But the potential now exists to fully recover and exceed those totals, with a goal of US$10 billion now in sight, she said. States under the Travel South banner include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Bittner also noted that the average holiday stay of international visitors in the U.S. before Covid was 14 days, and that the southeast states had captured 6.9 of those days at that time. But international vacationers “should be spending their entire holiday with us,” said Bittner. “We didn’t do a good enough job, we want those travellers to spend all 14 days with us.”

Check out some of the new attractions that await your clients in member states across the region in the latest issue of CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS.