Gainesville Celebrates 30th Annual National Tourism Week

photo courtesy VisitGainesville

From its growing technology industry to its natural attractions and sporting events, Alachua County has a way of finding itself in the national spotlight and on the radar for curious travelers. The county hosted more than 1,765,000 visitors in 2012, in turn generating more than $3.5 million in tourism tax.

VisitGainesville and the Alachua County Hospitality Council have scheduled a series of events celebrating the best of the region as part of National Travel and Tourism Week May 4 through May 12 to help locals and visitors alike see just what the area has to offer.

Several attractions are offering complimentary or reduced admission offers, including the Hippodrome State Theatre, Dudley Farm, Oleno State Park, River Rise State Park, Florida Museum of Natural History, Kika Silva Planetarium, Santa Fe College Zoo and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. The University of Florida Baseball team will also offer 2-for-1 tickets during its series against Auburn University and will host a Family Fun Day on Sunday with deals on food and drinks.

Other activities include the 6th annual Gainesville Amazing Race , a competition that will pit 2-person teams against one another in a scavenger hunt that takes participants across Gainesville to see popular attractions and compete for prizes.

The hospitality industry will show off its eye for detail during the annual Bed Making Contest. The tradition calls on hotel general managers throughout Alachua County to choose representatives from their housekeeping staff to compete for prize money in various skill categories including overall neatness, mitered corners and speed.

Winners will also be chosen for the Alachua County Customer Service Awards.

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