Georgia Aquarium has contributed almost US$2bn to state GDP: study

by Alice Davis | 29 Feb 2016

An economic impact study has put a price on the value of the Georgia Aquarium to the local and state communities.

The research, which was carried out by the Central Atlanta Progress, shows the aquarium has contributed US$1.9bn (£1.4bn, €1.7bn) to the economy since opening in 2005.

Georgia Aquarium was also credited with driving the development of the downtown Atlanta area where it is located. The Centennial Olympic Park district has been regenerated since the aquarium opened and more attractions have sprung up nearby, including the World of Coca-Cola which opened in 2007 and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opened in 2014.

“The past 10 years have been transformative for downtown Atlanta, and we look forward to carrying this positive momentum into and beyond our next decade,” said Georgia Aquarium’s chief operating officer Joe Handy.

According to the economic impact study, the district has benefited from US$1.25bn (£894m, €1.13bn) in investment since the aquarium opened, with more projects planned for the future.

“Every dollar invested in Georgia Aquarium generates an additional US$2.50 of private and public investment to the area,” said Handy. “As a not-for-profit organisation, we are proud that we can advance the state’s economy in such a meaningful way while advancing the field of marine research.”

Out-of-state visitors, who make up around 60 per cent of the aquarium’s intake, totalling 1.35 million visitors per year, will spend US$52.4m (£37.5m, €47.5m) at the attraction in 2016. Every dollar an out-of state visitor spends at the aquarium generates $10 for the Georgia economy, according to the study.

During the past 10 years, 22 million people have visited the aquarium and more than 11,000 construction jobs have been created between the original building and the recently opened Pier 225 sea lion exhibit. The aquarium employs 2,000 permanent staff members and generates more than US$8m (£5.7m, €7.2m) in local and state tax revenue.

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An economic impact study has put a price on the value of the Georgia Aquarium to the local and state communities. The research, which was carried out by the Central Atlanta Progress, shows the aquarium has contributed US$1.9bn (£1.4bn, €1.7bn) to the economy since opening in 2005. Georgia Aquarium was also credited with driving the development of the downtown Atlanta area where it is located. The Centennial Olympic Park district
TAW,VAT
Children at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia / Georgia Aquarium/Addison Hill
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