GAINESVILLE, Ga. (March 2, 2022) – A year after launching a revamped gainesville.org, the City of Gainesville has debuted a tourism-focused sister site, ExploreGainesville.org, geared toward residents and visitors seeking out the very best the “Hospitality Capital of the World” has to offer.
Visitors to ExploreGainesville.org need not look far for information related to events, lodging, dining, things to do, meetings and groups, and planning their visit – all located a click away on the homepage. The website, which launched in February, will guide you if you have questions on where to stay, what to do, where to dine and where to shop while in Gainesville.
“The Explore Gainesville site will allow us to have a site that is geared toward people visiting our community, attractions, venues, restaurants, retail and accommodations,” said Gainesville Tourism Director Robyn Lynch.
ExploreGainesville.org is the brainchild of City Tourism staff, which includes the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Main Street program, Lake Lanier Olympic Park (LLOP) venue and new in 2021, Greater Gainesville Sports Alliance (GGSA).
“Searching through the government site can be a challenge as it provides tons of information on all City departments, not just tourism, and this will make it much easier to find attractions, accommodations – even blogs about Gainesville,” said CVB Manager Regina Dyer regarding ExploreGainesville.org. “The site was designed as if a potential visitor or tourist were looking at it for the first time. The government site and the tourism site have different audiences and each site reflects this.”
Lynch said ExploreGainesville.org includes details on upcoming events in the community, as well as how citizens can get involved in or volunteer at particular celebrations. In addition to the CVB, LLOP and GGSA, the site has detailed features supporting the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club and Lake Lanier Rowing Club.
“We provided the necessary information about all our upcoming events and how business can get involved in those events,” said LLOP Facility Manager James Watson. “With the joint effort with the rowing and canoe/kayak clubs, we are providing information for our local athletes and visiting athletes.”
“This will give locals and visitors the opportunity to explore all of the sports and recreation options available to all ages in Gainesville,” Lynch said.
For Watson, helping create the new tourism site also served as an opportunity to modernize LakeLanierOlympicVenue.org (launched in 2016), which now operates under the ExploreGainesville.org umbrella.
“With all the changes in the park, from construction to all our new events, it was time to update our website,” he said. “Also, with the Olympic Park falling under the CVB, we now work closely on the majority of our events.”
“So it’s almost like a one-stop shop where a visitor will be able to get information about our most requested assets in our community,” Dyer said.
It’s no secret tourism is a huge economic booster for the community. In Gainesville, recreation, food/beverage and lodging are the top three contributors to this multi-million-dollar impact. With tourism bringing an average $227 million annually to the Gainesville-Hall County area, Lynch said, the website will serve as a useful tool for expanding tourism’s reach.
“The site serves as an information portal for people outside of our area that are looking to host a conference, special event or sports tournament in Gainesville,” Lynch said.
“Sports tourism has been a huge boost for our community. Even during the pandemic, sporting and outdoor recreation activities continued,” Dyer said. “The Gainesville CVB has capitalized on this growth with the formation of the Greater Gainesville Sports Alliance and continues to grow the sports/tourism market by hosting new events and supporting large events that bring in overnight visitors.”
The online upgrade puts Gainesville on the map similar to other communities whose web presence stretches beyond their respective City site like Greenville, South Carolina; Asheville, North Carolina; and Tybee Island.
“We wanted a website that reflected our community and all of our activities,” Lynch said. “The site is bright and colorful, full of attractive and attention-getting photos and, most importantly, is easy to navigate.”
From initial thoughts to completion, Dyer said the site took staff approximately a year to complete.
“This includes the look, style and branding elements, and the time spending on how information should be organized,” she said. “It then took several months to enter data, transfer information from existing sites and testing.”
To learn more, take ExploreGainesville.org for a spin and discover the benefits for yourself.