By BRIANNA REID
COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — ATL Airport District, formerly College Park Destination Management, re-branded to comply with its growing market, not limiting itself to one city.
The organization started in 2012 and re-branded after expanding its representation to cities other than College Park, Georgia. ATL Airport District currently represents College Park, East Point and Union City, which was added summer 2016.
“We’re trying to bring trade shows, conventions, sports groups, visitors, tourists, anybody that will spend the night in one of our hotels in East Point, College Park or Union City,” said Gabrielle Dickson, marketing and project manager of ATL Airport District. “We are responsible for marketing that because we are responsible for filling those hotel rooms.”
ATL Airport District relies partly on the hotel-motel tax for operating funds, so tourism in the cities it represents funds the organization and keeps local business owners happy.
As of summer 2016, this year’s fiscal year report is not available, but ATL Airport District’s total economic impact for the 2014-2015 fiscal year was about $28.3 million. Its 2012-2013 economic impact was about $13.3 million, giving the company a 116 percent increase between the two years.
“Before there was a destination management organization in the city of College Park, the Georgia International Convention Center, they were pretty much just depending on their own sales team to bring in new business to the convention center and to the city,” Dickson said. “But now that we are there and working out of the convention center and we have a sales team dedicated to try and get new business and repeat business, our economic impact for the area is huge, so I think that we’re doing a pretty good job.”
ATL Airport District president Cookie Smoak said continuing to effectively market the areas the organization represents as a preferred tourist destination is important.
“While we certainly have established College Park and East Point as leading destinations for meetings and tourism from a local and regional standpoint, the ATL Airport District brand will bring the area’s exclusive features to the forefront on a national and international level,” Smoak said.
The organization’s re-branding started in January 2016. Team members are seeing the fruit of their efforts as tax receipts for ATL Airport District have been higher, and its economic impact continues to rise.
For more information on ATL Airport District as well as information on destination, visit its website.