Macon Film Festival makes impact on local tourism economy

MACON, Ga. — It is Film Festival time in Macon, and tourists are flooding the city.

“Macon is very pretty and kind of vintage,” said Maya Bramletta, film festival attendee.

Many filmmakers are looking to hone the craft of making movies and meet people in the industry.

“I’m here for networking and meeting lots of people because you never know who you are going to meet,” Bramletta said.

The festival brings in filmmakers into town from over the country, including Shannon Beeby from Philadelphia.

“Macon is really charming and everyone is incredibly kind, and I don't think I’ve ever been somewhere where people drive so nicely," Beeby said.

The Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomes events like this.

“We see it as an opportunity for visitors to come in and not only attend the film festival but see the great things we have to offer in Macon,” said Valerie Bradley, communications directors at Macon-Bibb County CVB.

Because when visitors come to town, they bring their wallets.

"People come and eat in restaurants, people come to shop, people see attractions and paying for tickets to see those attractions,” she said.

According to 2014 data from the U.S. Travel Association, an estimated $328 million was spent by tourists in Bibb County and nearly $8.9 million of local tax revenue.

“All of the festivals, including the film festival, and people who are coming to visit Macon contribute to our tourism economic impact,” Bradley said.

While filmmakers are in town, many search for inspiration through Macon’s culture.

“I’m looking forward to meeting wonderful people, exploring Macon, and exploring central Georgia."