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Friday, November 30, 2012 - 12:00pm

Civil War Tourism Push Muted

Even as the Civil War's 150th anniversary continues, heritage tourism is taking a back seat to other visitor pursuits.

State officials are promising a more vigorous marketing effort in 2014.

Georgia has many Civil War sites whose boosters see the sesquicentennial as a great opportunity to attract visitors.

But aside from driving guides and a website, the state hasn't launched a major advertising campaign highlighting Civil War attractions.

State tourism commissioner Kevin Langston says residents can expect more in coming years when battles will be remembered in Chickamauga, Atlanta and Sherman's march to Savannah.

"Our overall tourism marketing effort is about $4.6 million every year," Langston says. "So carving out $100,000 specifically for the Civil War is a decent chunk."

Scott McQuade of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau says history takes a back seat to leisure promotion in part because his area doesn't have many Civil War sites.

"Heritage tourism is a big part of what we promote but being a beach destination, that is our major driver," McQuade says. "It falls second or third in line to what we market and offer."

Next year, coastal McIntosh and Bryan counties will mark battle anniversaries.

You can learn more about the state's efforts at this website.