Gadsden County commissioners heard a presentation by Homer Hirt, the president of the RiverWay South Apalachicola Choctawhatchee Organization.
The organization is a team of eight counties in Northwest Florida bordering the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers.
They joined to mutually promote rural tourism. The organization is made up of tourism professionals, economic development professionals, and tourism industry partners and stakeholders from Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties.
Hirt stated their mission is to encourage sustainable economic development through the preservation and promotion of the natural, cultural, recreational, scenic, and historical resources within the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee river basins.
During the presentation Hirt mentioned one of the county’s agri-tourism businesses, Rocky Comfort Farms south of Quincy, as an example of some of the types of new businesses cropping up over the eight counties.
Hirt explained that they partner and work together to provide the region with vital tourism development strategies that include product development and marketing, a resource database and image library, leadership training and scholarships, media tours and travel itineraries, annual rural tourism and sustainable economic development summit, and an interactive website and publications.
He gave the commissioners a packet that included the “Get off I-10 Explore our Florida” tours that include Gadsden County.
Hirt added that there have been two travel writers who have been in the area recently that did stories on the attractions available in North Florida such as the Wolf Preserve and the Florida Caverns State park.