Visitors will be arriving today for the beginning of the 2005 Georgia Governor's Conference on Tourism. More than 400 guests from the tourism industry statewide will be visiting our wonderful community for the next three days.

This is the first time Valdosta has hosted the prestigious event, which culminates Friday with Gov. Sonny Perdue's address and presentation of the 2005 Tourism Awards.

Our distinguished guests will be treated to a wide variety of sights during their stay in our community. After attending workshops and presentations during the day, they will be treated to a slice of life Valdosta-style in the evenings, with a performance at the Crescent tonight as well as a hands-on arts event at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. Thursday evening, they will be the guests of Wild Adventures Theme Park, with entertainment by local musicians as well as the Tams, with the opportunity to ride rides and enjoy the evening at one of the state's most popular theme park attractions.

In addition to the governor's visit, our guests will include the commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Craig Lesser and Dan Rowe, as well as members of the state legislature and representatives from business and industry.

Attendees will leave the conference armed with knowledge on how to best promote their own communities across the state to attract tourists, but they will also leave knowing that Valdosta is a vibrant, thriving, and entertaining city with more to offer than they ever imagined.

Let's demonstrate for our guests the friendliness and charm this community is known so well for throughout Georgia. The spotlight is on us. Let's shine!

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