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Forsyth FountainTourism is going through the roof. What is the City doing to balance the industry with quality of life downtown?

In 2014, the City established the Tourism Management and Ambassadorship Department to centralize tourism related activities and proactively address issues associated with the rapid growth of the industry while recognizing the need to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods.

The department currently administers three ordinances— Tour Service for Hire; Bicycles, Mopeds and Skateboards (Quadricycles); and Horse Drawn Carriage. For the first time, the City has three officers designated to enforcing these ordinances. Schedules have been developed to provide maximum coverage—Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM and Saturdays, 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM.  After hours operations are also randomly conducted throughout the year. The 2014 and 2015 TYD Citation Activity Reports demonstrate the types of infractions issued to motorized and non-motorized tours.

A tourism hotline—912-525-1500—was created to allow residents and tour operators to reach an on-duty supervisor when they encounter an issue. When a call is received, enforcement officers mobilize and investigate. Frequently, these calls result in a citation being issued.

The City uses informal and formal groups to vet tourism related issues. The 13-member Tourism Advisory Committee is appointed by City Council to make policy recommendations to City officials. They are currently revising the tourism ordinances to ensure the success of the tourism industry while protecting the quality of life for our residents. TAC meetings are open to the public, summaries are available here.