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Anjuli King: ‘A True Savannah Native’

Fast Facts about Anjuli King

Anjuli King is the director of domestic group tour and entertainment sales at Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island.

Company: Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island

Favorite Bible Verse:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

  Galatians 6:9

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

Hobbies: On Sundays, King can be found at Branded Hearts Ministries, where she is active in the women’s ministry group. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family, watching sports (especially football), traveling to new destinations or catching up on her favorite TV shows while enjoying a plate of ribs from Randy’s BBQ.

You could say that faith and Savannah are in Anjuli King’s DNA: Her maternal grandfather was a pastor in Savannah, Georgia; her great uncle was a minister at one of the oldest Black congregations in the country, First Bryan Baptist Church; and her father is a deacon. Her mother plays piano at church, and Anjuli herself is a member at Branded Hearts Church, where she is active in the Women’s Ministry Group and Bible Study.

“I’m a P.K. [pastor’s kid] grandkid,” King said. “I’m at church every Sunday and on Thursday; I’m there for Bible study. I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations, but I give all the glory to God. Honestly — I tell people all the time that if it wasn’t for His grace and mercy, I have no idea where I’d be.”

Coming from a long line of Savannahians, King says that landing in her role as director of domestic group tour and entertainment sales at Visit Savannah really came from her love of her hometown and deep familiarity with every nook and cranny of the city. Aptly, Savannah’s nickname is “Hostess City of the South,” and King is the perfect person to welcome visitors to her destination.

“What makes my job so cool is that I’m a true Savannah native — it really is home,” she said. “Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like work, because I’m selling my hometown, I’m selling my city. I can tell you exactly what to see and to do and that’s what makes it fun — so that’s what I absolutely love about my job. You don’t realize when you’re growing up what’s so special about where you are, but now that I’m older I love all this history around me, and I’m so grateful that I get to live in it every day. We really do have something that’s totally unique here.”

King started down the hospitality path while she was in college, where she balanced a full load of courses with full-time hours in hotels. She started as a front desk agent in a Hilton, while working her way up to guest service supervisor, then sales and catering manager, then regional catering sales, working on one property in Savannah and another in Atlanta. Moving into the group sales market, King moved into working with the SMERF (social, military, educational, religious, and fraternal organizations) and with motorcoach groups as well. Coordinating these groups developed a relationship with the local convention and visitors bureau, Visit Savannah, which eventually approached her and encouraged her to come to work with them.

“Mindy [Shea], my colleague here who is the director of international sales, reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about working with the CVB?’ and I didn’t know much about what that entailed,” said King. “She told me that, in a nutshell, I’d be selling the whole house instead of just the kitchen sink — it’s what I was already doing, only selling the whole city instead of one property, and it made sense to show the full package of Savannah instead of just one piece of it.”

The intersection of faith and hospitality comes up frequently in King’s work. While many of the groups visiting Savannah will want to see some of the most popular attractions, she also makes a point of including those landmarks with a spiritual significance when planning an itinerary. She gives groups a welcome that aligns with her faith.

“I definitely do a gospel dinner cruise, which is something so unique to Savannah,” she said. “You have the first African Baptist church in the United States here, the historic First Bryan Baptist Church, which is the oldest Black congregation in the United States; we have Beth Israel, one of the oldest Gothic-style synagogues in the United States. I incorporate God in all that I do, whether it’s a prayer that someone has safe travels or greeting them with a hug, but you don’t have to be wearing a sticker that says, ‘I’m a Christian.’ Most of the time, people can just sense that — they know it’s there because you are being Christlike.”

Travel Tips

1. Book the trip, don’t wait — tomorrow is not promised!

2. Invest in a travel backpack! Backpacks have the charger ports, a hidden back pouch for a wallet, and pockets for refillable water bottles. They can fit under the seat instead of the overhead cabin, but pack your purse in your checked luggage so you can be cute when you’ve reached your destination!

3. Stop for five minutes, take a deep breath and thank God that you can see His creation!