MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb County is investing millions dollars into tourism. The state’s department of economic development released new numbers showing the city is bringing in more visitors and new projects than ever before.

Lively, upbeat, and some would say fun.

“We draw on all of those assets to tell the Macon story and it helps let people know that it’s a great place to come and visit as well as live,” Valerie Bradley, the director of communications for Macon-Bibb’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.

She estimates thousands of tourists come to Macon each year and that number is growing.

“Every year the state releases our local economic impact and tourism impact, so we’ve also look to tell that story as to how many jobs are attributed to tourism here,” Bradley said.

According to Georgia’s Department of Economic Development, visitors brought in more than $21 million in local taxes and sustained more than 3,300.

Bradley credits the growth to the increase in development.

“You know, whenever we go out and tell that story, that’s something that we highlight first hand. People understand numbers,” she said.

Projects like the renovations to the historic Capricorn Studios, the new Tubman Museum, and the $50 million Exchange Block Project — a mixed use space — are all attracting more people.

“This is an essential development to the continuation toward a walkable, urban environment and prosperity in downtown Macon,” Mayor Robert Reichert said to 41NBC in 2015 about the exchange block project.

“This is going to do a lot to bridge that gap and really widen out what we think of as downtown Macon,” Miller Heath with MMI Corporate said.

Bradley says it’s a sign of things to come. She predicts more projects means more visitors.

“Overall, all of those things help us to tell the story as a whole of all the different offers we have here in Macon,” she said.

According to figures from the state’s Department of Economic Development, Macon-Bibb County ranked 10th out of 159 counties in terms of tourism spending in the state.