Originally created 02/27/06

Games don't make Turin a destination



If the majestic peaks that form the backdrop for the Winter Olympics make you want to visit Turin on your next vacation, you might very well be alone.

Although the Olympics have planted the Turin region firmly on the global tourism map, travel professionals in the Augusta area say there has been minimal interest in visiting the area.

"We see more people go to hot places than cold places," said Jay Pruszynski, an agent with Southern Travel Agency. "We have had a few clients to go to Italy, but they were planning it long before the Olympics."

The Summer Olympics held in Greece, he said, generated some local interest - but not the winter events.

Nancy Parris, the director of leisure management for Morris Travel, agreed.

"Nobody here sent anybody here to the Olympics," she said.

Lynn Douglas, the marketing director for Columbia Metropolitan Airport, said she has no tales of surges in travels to Italy thanks to the Olympics through her airport, either.

With half a dozen airlines under its wing, Columbia's airport is definitely a gateway to Turin, she noted.

"They certainly could get there from here. We have a number of non-stops to airports with international destinations," Ms. Douglas said. "But we have not heard from any folks that actually went or are going."

Staff Writer Dena Levitz contributed to this story.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.