In celebration of the May 3-9, 2020 National Travel & Tourism Week, industry professionals from across the state came “together” to create a video of virtual greetings sharing the #TourismStrong message (www.mstourism.com). Mississippi hotels, casinos, restaurants, attractions, conference centers and destination marketing organizations embraced the well-known Hospitality State reputation, reminding visitors that Mississippi can’t wait to safely welcome guests again.
“Mississippi has so much to offer our visitors and our people, from rich cuisine to unique cultural experiences to our natural beauty. Thanks to the incredible spirit and resilience of our state’s tourism industry and workforce, Mississippi is tourism strong. We can’t wait to welcome people back to our beautiful state when it’s safe for travel and show them why we’re called the ‘Hospitality State,’” said Governor Tate Reeves.
As the state’s fourth largest industry, employing more than 122,850 people, tourism has a substantial role in the economic growth and vitality of Mississippi. In 2019, 24.7 million visitors infused billions of new dollars into Mississippi’s economy and yielded $675 million in additional tax revenue.
“The people of Mississippi consistently show resilience in times of crisis welcoming visitors with positivity and a willingness to serve,” said Rochelle Hicks, executive director of the Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA). “The tourism industry represents 11% of the jobs in our state. Now more than ever the #TourismStrong message must be shared, and the Mississippi Tourism Association is committed to doing that.”
MTA began operations in 1988 with the primary objective of creating an industry-wide promotional organization with the goal of serving as the statewide voice for all segments within the hospitality industry.
“We have so much to offer in Mississippi from our culture and history, to award-winning music and world-renowned literature, to our beautiful natural resources, like the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Natchez Trace Parkway,” said Annette Rand, sales manager for DoubleTree by Hilton Biloxi and this year’s MTA president. “Tourism not only tells a story and offers new experiences, but the industry also supports families and individuals across the state.”