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The Georgia Department of Economic Development and UGA to host 2014 International VIP Tour

Dignitaries representing 26 countries to visit Athens

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will be one of 10 stops on the annual International VIP Tour that takes place March 19-21 and showcases a region of Georgia to the Consular Corps.

The consular offices and/or trade representation from 70 nations comprise the Atlanta Consular Corps. The offices help promote economic, commercial, cultural and scientific relations and offer services to foreign citizens living in or traveling in Georgia.

The tour will stop at UGA’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries March 20 at 6:45 p.m. for a tour of the building and remarks from UGA President Jere W. Morehead; Nancy Denson, mayor of Athens-Clarke County; Chris Carr, commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Steve Brereton, dean of Consular Corps and consul general of Canada; Jennifer L. Frum, vice president for public service and outreach at UGA; and David C. Lee, vice president for research at UGA.

“This event is a fantastic way to show the international community how our business climate is booming and Georgia’s quality of life is drawing in visitors and investment from across the globe,” said Chris Carr, Georgia Department of Economic Development commissioner. “Not only does this event provide the perfect opportunity for the local community to network with influential leaders from 26 countries, but it also provides VIP Tour guests with a unique perspective of the culture, economy and overall character of Georgia.”

This year, the itinerary includes both traditional tourism and an economic development tour of northeast Georgia.

“We are thrilled that the Consular Corps chose to visit UGA this year,” said Sean McMillian, director of economic development for the Atlanta office of the University of Georgia. “It is an opportunity to strengthen our international relationships and show leaders from around the world the first-rate education UGA students receive as well as the cutting-edge research currently underway.”

The International VIP Tour is the only event that brings the bulk of Atlanta’s diplomatic community together with Georgians in these communities. The Georgia Department of Economic Development has organized the annual three-day tour since 1985.

“Every year the International VIP Tour shows off a ‘slice’ of Georgia to our Consular Corps,” said Abby Turano, chief of protocol, State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The tour is an opportunity to familiarize our VIP Tour guests with destinations they might not have otherwise seen. The mutual benefit is tremendous, as the tour forges long-lasting friendships and business connections.”

To follow the VIP Tour on Twitter, use the hashtag #GAVIPTour. For more information on the UGA visit, contact Steven Dempsey at 706-542-6167 or