Welcome to the Family: Discover DeKalb

Welcome to the Family: Discover DeKalb

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Just outside of Atlanta, Georgia lies a haven for family travel.

North of the downtown area, Discover DeKalb—a new FTA member—represents a group of cities and towns with a hugely diverse selection of travel offerings. Michael Vescio, Director of Sales for Discover DeKalb, told us that the area gets a lot of SMERF (Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal) related groups, which includes family reunions, weddings and motorcoach groups.

The cities represented are Chamblee, Tucker, Doraville, Stonecrest and Stone Mountain. Across these areas, Discover DeKalb represents multiple hotels, including Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort, the largest hotel around with 64,000 square feet of meeting space and 336 rooms. This is nestled in the heart of Stone Mountain Park, which is the number one tourist attraction in Georgia and the second-most visited attraction in the Southeast.

Another great new attraction is New Black Wall Street in Stonecrest, a city that’s 98% African American. It offers 200 on-site vendors with very unique stores—people come in and shop. They do a lot of different special events there as well. They offer ongoing education, entertainment and various concerts.

In Doraville, the new attraction is the Exhibition Hub Art Center, which has two exhibits there regularly. They currently have the Monet exhibit and also have a Lego Land exhibit. But soon, they’re getting ready to close these exhibits and will be bringing in a Van Gogh exhibit and a King Tut exhibit.

The CVB also has a sports arm called Sports DeKalb, which is used to bring in different events that benefit hotels, like lacrosse, rugby and boxing tournaments.

On top of all that, DeKalb is also a big hub for film, with several studios already and a new one coming in soon called The Assembly/Studio City, which will have 10 sound stages and will film live TV shows—likely including NBC shows like The Voice. Its planned opening is for September.

Vescio said Discover DeKalb is already heavily connected to the family travel industry, and joining the FTA is just the natural next step. The organization works with other CVBs and DMOs in the area as well to provide the best experience. “We do what’s called a Partner Meeting every month, and I started including other CVBs in that, so we have stakeholders, our hotels, our attractions and other people we invite to these meetings.”

In addition to seminars and gatherings, DeKalb offers family reunion workshops every other month, has a podcast studio in-office, recently developed the Eastside Hops Beer Trail in partnership with Decatur Welcome Center—the list goes on. This all results in better education, better experiences and better deals.

“One of the benefits is our rates. We get a lot of groups that stay in DeKalb because the hotel rates are so much more affordable, plus easier interstate access and free parking at our hotels. You can really do everything in DeKalb without having to go downtown. We’ve got a lot of museums, a lot of history that drives business to our area.”

While DeKalb already is home to 68 hotels with more than 6,800 guestrooms, the region also has multiple new hotels, including a Residence Inn in Decatur, a TRU by Hilton in Tucker, and a Holiday Inn & Suites in Chamblee; with a few more in the pipeline.

If you’re looking to head to Georgia or book trips there for your clients, make sure to check in with Discover DeKalb and see what unique experiences, rates and education they can bring to you.

Visit www.discoverdekalb.com to learn more.

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