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IHG Hotels & Resorts and Explore Georgia invite visitors to go beyond the headlines, Where True Hospitality meets Southern Hospitality

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ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1960, the soulful, Georgia-born singer Ray Charles hit the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time with the song "Georgia On My Mind." To this day, that iconic tune is one of his most-loved recordings. Fast forward to present day, and Georgia, it seems, is on everyone's mind. That's why IHG Hotels & Resorts is teaming up with Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, to promote that Georgia has much more to explore. Guests can book IHG's Stay Longer and Save rate and save up to 20% when they stay three nights or more at select properties across the state through Feb. 28, 2021. With scenic mountains and tranquil beaches, big cities and small towns, places that shaped democracy and civil rights, majestic National Parks and State Parks, and Southern food that is good for the soul – it's easy to see that there is so much more to Georgia than its peaches.

"We're proud to call Georgia home to our U.S. headquarters and the thousands of our colleagues who work, live, and play here," stated Brian Hicks, SVP, Americas Commercial & Revenue Management, IHG Hotels & Resorts. "We've partnered with Explore Georgia because we both share a deep passion for the vast experiences the Peach State has to offer, including the places and stories that don't make the news but are so essential to the fabric of Georgia. Our company's passion is delivering True Hospitality, and what better way to showcase that than in our own backyard."

"We're thrilled to partner with our friends at IHG Hotels & Resorts to showcase so many great places to stay in our state," said Mark Jaronski, Deputy Commissioner of Tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "No matter where you call home, a safe, enjoyable escape to Georgia's great cities, small towns, mountains, beaches, state and national parks is never far away."

Peach State locations to stay and explore include:

Atlanta: The birthplace and home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta was the spiritual epicenter of the Civil Rights movement. Visit Dr. King's childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached his famous sermons. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the King Center are dedicated to the movement's struggles and achievements. Crowne Plaza Midtown is close to all these sites, and rooms provide ample space for work and rest, while the Buckhead neighborhood is home to InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, a luxury flagship hotel. The recently renovated Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia is also close to all that Atlanta has to offer and just 20 minutes away in Roswell is Chattahoochee Nature Center and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – one of 11 stunning National Parks in Georgia. For a quieter, more distinct experience, drive 20 minutes north to Alpharetta and stay at the wellness-focused EVEN Hotel AlpharettaAvalon Area. View the trip planning guide to Atlanta here.

Savannah: Settled in 1773 by General James Oglethorpe, Savannah is Georgia's first city, and there is no shortage of reasons to visit this quintessential southern locale. Visitors may recognize the majestic live oaks draped with Spanish moss and gothic architecture from popular movies, but the city's beauty and rich legacy are worth experiencing in person. Book a guest room at the charming Kimpton Brice Hotel in Savannah's Historic Landmark District, perfect for a scenic stroll along the Savannah River. View the trip planning guide to Savannah here.

Macon: With a thriving river economy that started with the indigenous community long before European settlers arrived, Macon is now a bustling city with many historical sites, eye-catching architecture, and a legendary music scene. It's also home to Wesleyan College, the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. Stay just five minutes from the historic downtown at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Macon North. View the trip planning guide to Macon here.

Athens: Home to The University of Georgia and birthplace of iconic American music groups R.E.M. and The B-52s, Athens boasts historic homes, the 300-acre State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and nationally recognized craft breweries (Tropicália, anyone?). Although called "The Classic City," there isn't anything conventional about Athens, and to really get a feel for its neighborhoods, stay at Hotel Indigo Athens Downtown. View the trip planning guide to Athens here.

Augusta: Famous for hosting the annual Masters Tournament, Augusta was also the boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson, who served as the 28th President of the United States. George Walton, the youngest signatory to sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence, was also from Augusta. Visit these historical home sites or the new mural of the Godfather of Soul, Augusta's own James Brown, while staying at avid hotel Augusta W – Grovetown, one of IHG's newest hotel brands. View the trip planning guide to Augusta here.

Responsible Travel
Safety precautions to combat COVID-19 are critical to both the state and its visitors right now. Therefore, Explore Georgia continues to promote safe travel and encourages all visitors, residents and businesses to follow the Georgia Safety Promise, which includes wearing a mask, maintaining a social distance and washing hands. While visiting an IHG hotel, be reassured that cleanliness and safety are top of mind. The company's longstanding commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures includes the IHG Way of Clean program developed with Ecolab and Diversey, both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies.

About IHG®
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, voco™, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts , Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites®, Atwell Suites™, and Candlewood Suites®. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 6,000 hotels and 890,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with approximately 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 400,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally. Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: https://www.ihgplc.com/en/news-and-media and follow us on social media at: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Explore Georgia
Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, is the state's official destination marketing organization. Through its home office in Atlanta, nine visitor information centers, and a network of representatives across the globe, Explore Georgia inspires travel to and within the state. The division works to advance Georgia's $68.82 billion tourism industry that supports 484,056 jobs. As home to the biggest cities in the region, the most diverse population, and a geographical range from the mountains to the beach, Georgia has the South's most unexpected sights and stories. Learn more at ExploreGeorgia.org.

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, aligning workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Learn more at georgia.org.

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SOURCE IHG Hotels & Resorts