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Habitat Attraction To Increase Local Tourism

Americus, Ga. - Oct. 19, 2000 - Habitat for Humanity International’s new Global Village and Museum is likely to attract more tourists to southwest Georgia and will give visitors a reason to extend their visit here, according to local tourism experts.

Today, Habitat for Humanity International announced its plans to build a Global Village and Museum here. The six-acre attraction highlighting Habitat for Humanity International’s (HFHI) mission across the globe should attract more tourists and enhance the economy. The site will be a demonstration exhibit of the kind of houses built from Africa to Asia, Europe to Latin America. Admission to HFHI’s new attraction will be free but donations will be accepted and patrons will be able to purchase international crafts and merchandise from the marketplace.

Habitat for Humanity International had about 10,000 visitors in the past year and in September the center welcomed 1,032 visitors on 64 tours compared to 364 visitors on 74 tours a year ago.

“Habitat for Humanity International’s new attraction will make it one of our three largest tourist attractions in Sumter County,” said Melanie Grace, executive director of Americus/Sumter County Tourism Council. “People will be enlightened by what Habitat does worldwide with the way the village will be set up and the way people will be able to walk through,” she added.

The existing Tour Center and Museum is considered the third largest tourist attraction in Sumter County behind the Andersonville National Historic Site with 183,000 visitors in 1999, and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site with 55,000 visitors in 1999.

With the construction of Habitat’s Global Village and Museum and the renovations to former President Jimmy Carter’s boyhood farm, set to open on Nov. 17, local tourism officials predict the number of visitors to all sites will increase in the next couple of years.

“The Global Village project is a tremendous enhancement to both the Andersonville National Historic site and the Jimmy Carter National Historic site,” said Fred Boyles, superintendent of both facilities. “We anticipate not only more visitors to our area, but visitors will stay longer with so much more to do.”

Dedicated to eliminating poverty housing, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry founded by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2000 communities in 68 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families at no profit with zero-interest mortgages.