VALDOSTA -- Georgia's image just got a make-over with the unveiling of a new logo and an addition to its slogan.

Craig Lesser, commissioner with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced Thursday during the 2005 Georgia Governor's Conference on Tourism that some changes had been made to benefit the state and boost tourism spending.

The changes stem from extensive research on part of Georgia's marketing department.

"Put your dreams in motion" is the addition to the state's slogan, "Georgia on My Mind." The new logo is a colorful rendition of the Georgia peach logo.

Lesser said the new logo and addition to the current, well-known slogan will give consumers a drive.

Research showed that the phrase "Georgia on My Mind" was familiar and associated with Ray Charles' song. But the phrase alone was not driving consumers to "do what we wanted them to do," such as investing money toward Georgia and expanding businesses, Lesser said.

Lesser called the new approach a "confident new style that captures the essence of the state."

"We are competing on the global stage, and as we do that, no longer can it be build it and they will come," Lesser said. "We have to grow; we have to sell that."

The three-day conference brought about 450 people from the tourism profession around the state to Valdosta.

The conference, which ends today, will bring in about $117,000 in direct spending to the city, said Marty Brown, executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center.

It is the first time Valdosta has hosted the conference.

Valdosta was selected as the host city after conference center employees placed a bid, traveled to Atlanta and gave presentations to the Department of Economic Development.

Brown said they had to show the flexibility of the city and the conference center's ability to handle 450 people.

Mayor John Fretti attended the second day of the conference to show appreciation and welcome the attendees.

"Thank you very much for choosing our community," Fretti said. "You are the experts and professionals, and you're going to take Georgia to the next level. Get to work."

Gov. Sonny Perdue will close the conference today with a speech on heritage tourism and a presentation of awards.

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