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New tourism director wants more than visitors
Cindye Jones - photo by Submitted / Coastal Courier
Tourists spend an estimated $25 billion a year when visiting Georgia, and Liberty County is hoping to capture some of that.
Cindye Jones, hired by the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau board, will serve as tourism director for Flemington and all the other cities and rural areas of the county.
"Each city (within Liberty County) has such a different flair or flavor. Flemington is a beautiful oasis. It is just so pretty," Jones said.
Her work with the New York Boys Choir and WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston sparked her interest in foundation and nonprofit work. She has also worked for large corporations, doing corporate contributions, which blended her corporate and nonprofit fundraising background.
Even without a background in tourism, Jones felt her experience with corporate philanthropy, teaching corporations how to be responsible citizens, would be a benefit.
"I kept looking at it (the job description), and something really drew me to it. I thought, you know what, this is a great opportunity for me to combine all the different experience that I have into one focus," Jones said.
"The good thing about me not having a tourism background, as it relates to Liberty County, is that I can do things fresh because this is a really unique community."
Jones knows that tourism in Liberty County needs to be approached differently than it would be in Atlanta or Savannah. She wants to make sure historic sites in Flemington that are not on the historic register will be placed on the register. Jones also plans to promote Flemington's driving tour and capitalize on the city's small town, garden feel.
Jones said that five initiatives have been identified so that tourism can become more than just people visiting the area; economic development, education, cultural awareness and appreciation, community building, and preservation and conservation.
She said the initiatives are necessary, especially for economic development. Building up the infrastructure for tourism will help increase the quality of life for those living in the county.
Jones realizes some of the historic sites in the county need work and hopes that when the time comes, the community will help.
"I'm excited about tourism, and I'm excited that I can build upon the experiences that I've had to make tourism a unique and special thing, just like Liberty County is," she said.
Jones, her husband, who is in the military, and their four children moved to area four months ago.
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