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An Introductory Letter from Georgia Turner, Flagler’s New Tourism Guru

| December 7, 2011

A scene from last weekend's Christmas parade in Flagler Beach, one of the marketable events on the county's tourism radar. (© FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce in association with the county’s Tourist Development Council hired Georgia Turner to head the county’s tourism efforts last month. Turner replaces Peggy Heiser, who resigned in October. Turner, under the guidance of the council and approval of the county commission, will administer roughly $800,000 in bed-tax revenue a year through marketing the county and vetting cultural and quality of life grants to qualifying organizations. The revenue is part of the $1.3 to $1.4 million generated by the county’s pt bed tax, a supplemental sales tax that applies to hotel, motel, short-term rentals and other temporary lodging transactions in the county, paid overwhelmingly by visitors. The following is Turner’s “On My Mind” letter to the community, released today.

Happy holidays to our Flagler County tourism partners and friends! I am so excited to be your new Vice President of Tourism Development.

georgia turner flagler county tourist development council vice president tourism

Georgia Turner. (© FlaglerLive)

To tell you a little about me, I have worked in the tourism industry since 1985. I started as a marketing representative for a regional tourism organization for the 16 northernmost counties in my home state of Alabama. I moved to Daytona Beach in 1988 for my husband Eddie to attend Embry-Riddle. During that time, I worked for four busy oceanfront properties and at the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as their public relations director, promoting major events such as Bike Week, Biketoberfest and events like the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Alabama called me back to lead the tourism efforts in the Alabama Mountain Lakes Region from 1994-2000.  From 2000-2010 I owned my own tourism public relations/marketing company. Our specialty was media tours throughout the Southeastern U.S.—bringing travel writers and other journalists to an area to write about its attributes. Last year I joined the Daytona Beach Area CVB this time as their Director of Specialized Markets where my focus was on tourism events, the Film Office and the arts, culture and heritage segment of the industry.  With my varied experience in destinations of all shapes and sizes, I have a lot to bring to marketing this wonderful area.

I’ve admired the tourism effort in Flagler County for many years, having worked with Team Tourism on a media tour in conjunction with Visit Florida.  I have also spent a lot of my free time in Flagler County in the past, but I have a lot to learn!  In the coming weeks I’ll be reaching out to you, but please feel free to contact me to tell me about your business and how we can help you. My phone number is 386-437-0106, ext. 17 and my email is

My first order of business is to hire replacements for both Laura Gamba who left us in November and Jaffy Lee who will leave later this month. Next will be the redesign of our website and this Partner Portal E-newsletter.

Once again, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working with you in the future!

Georgia Turner
Vice President of Tourism Development

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14 Responses for “An Introductory Letter from Georgia Turner, Flagler’s New Tourism Guru”

  1. Absolutely Love Georgia! She’s an amazing woman and we are lucky to have her. <3

  2. Debra Nanus Bryant via Facebook says:

    <3 Georgia!!!

  3. Mary Corey says:

    Flagler County got the best of the best when they hired Georgia Turner!

  4. Lisa Egstad says:

    I’ve known Georgia Turner for 30 years and congratulate Flagler County in hiring one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever known! She’s smart, hard-working and has never met a stranger. I can’t imagine you finding anyone better suited to represent your Chamber and to be an ambassador for your community! Treat her well!

  5. Welcome to good ol’ Flagler County. Maybe we can show all the good folks our great landscaped medians on the northside. That would promote Flagler and build our tourism. Then we can invite them to the southside of Palm Coast and have them dodge cars while they ride their bikes or walk along the roadways. What wonderful exercise that would be. Or the tourists can ride around and see the scenic foreclosures.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    Lets see first, if any positive results materialize, before all the applause! What do we have here all the Chamber Flagler elite patting each other on the back as usual, over achieving the never ending goal of granted tax payers funds? We, the forced funding tax payers wether tourist or not, will sure congratulate Ms.Turner only after confirmed good performance will justify it, other than here say and not before.

  7. Bill Hazz says:

    FlaglerNative, you need to go find some roses to smell. You only see what you “WANT” to see. WE have much to offer for many tourists, especially families.

    All communities have problem areas just as all communities have people with your attitude. You probably never smile, either. Try finding that bright side of life . . . I dare you!

  8. Bill Hazz says:

    Welcome, Georgia.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and many years of success.

  9. Kip Durocher says:

    This looks like a CoC PR campaign going on here.

    Spontaneous or just more CoC spin?

  10. Will says:

    Palmcoaster, your comment “all the Chamber Flagler elite” caught my eye.

    Four people posted congratulatory comments to the new person wishing her well. I don’t know any of those four as active Chamber members, though they may be. I don’t know even if they live in Flager. And I don’t know what makes them “elite”, a word you love to use.

    Why not simply say “Welcome and good luck” instead of being so negative?

  11. FlaglerNative says:

    Bill, “All communites have problem areas”, so what your saying is the southside of Palm Coast is a problem. Hmmm, thats sounds funny. You must live in the northside where Palm Coast actually takes care of the landscaped medians and sidewalks. The southside gets neither. And yes I do smell the roses, unfortunately we have to put ours roadside when our children and friends get hit by vehicles and pass away! But I suppose the southside of Palm Coast deserves that because it is a “problem area”.

  12. Angela Hamilton says:

    I am one who posted my congrats to Georgia. I am not a chamber member however I have been a resident of Palm Coast for the past 17 years. I happen to love our community and the people in it. I had the pleasure of working with Georgia through her volunteer efforts. She is a class act and I’m glad to see her in Flagler.

  13. Bill Hazz says:

    FlaglerNative, you sound like anything but… Flagler County consists of more than “just” Palm Coast. You still are looking ONLY through YOUR eyes. I happen to live in Flagler Beach, and am very thankful for that. You are just so “negative” . . . glad you are not truly my neighbor.

    Perhaps tomorrow will brighten your day . . .

  14. Wow Bill, your a bright one. Born and raised in Flagler Beach and still live here, will never live anywhere else. You must be an implant from up north. You dont know what good ol’ Flagler County is all about. We used to have a great sign for local “Bunnell tourists” on our drawbridge. If your a TRUE flaglerite you should know about it.

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