This award is presented to an entity that has demonstrated its value to stakeholders and lawmakers.

The Ridgeland Tourism Commission was recently recognized by The Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) for their impact and accomplishments in tourism industry advocacy at the annual tourism awards program held during Governor’s Conference on Tourism at Caesar’s Entertainment Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Tunica in Tunica, Miss., Oct. 19-21, 2022.

This annual educational and professional development event brought together almost 200 tourism industry professionals from across the state as well as tourism partners from the surrounding region. The annual awards allow MTA the opportunity to recognize members who excel in various sectors of the industry.  Awards were presented in 17 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.

Visit Ridgeland was awarded 2022 Best Advocacy Campaign of the Year for its Destination Business Plan and partnerships within the city to advance the tourism product. This award is presented to an entity that has demonstrated its value to stakeholders and lawmakers.

“It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate these talented members who work tirelessly for their communities and organizations. These awards are very competitive, and that is a testament to the caliber of work being produced by our partners and the overall strength of Mississippi tourism. It is our honor to work together with these outstanding professionals to continue to grow and prosper our industry,” said MTA Executive Director Danielle Morgan.

As the tourism industry began to rebuild and welcome guests back, the Ridgeland Tourism Commission (RTC) realized the importance of providing a destination that made guests feel safe, welcomed and informed. An effort like that could not be accomplished alone – it took partnerships across the industry to achieve this goal. To start, RTC updated industry partner lists to receive monthly industry-specific information through an e-newsletter campaign, growing this engagement more than 112 percent.

Next, RTC enhanced their promotion program by reaching out to Ridgeland hotels, restaurants and attractions; creating a private Facebook group for these partners to share information; and enhancing their LinkedIn page. Efforts have begun to start a portal designed at no cost to partners to submit photos and videos to help Visit Ridgeland assist them in promotions.

The Visit Ridgeland TikTok channel was started to promote visitation and give partners another platform to promote themselves. Through all their social media efforts combined, Visit Ridgeland saw a 551 percent increase in impressions and a 1,144 percent increase in engagements.

They also created an annual Destination Business Plan to better share tourism goals and integrate tourism into the local economy. They have worked to create even stronger partnerships with local media who help share their messages.

During National Tourism Week, RTC highlighted what tourism means to Madison County – 2,750 jobs, over $35 million in wages, and $232,943,000 in expenditures by visitors.

“The tourism industry in Mississippi is filled with accomplished professionals who have a genuine passion for making their individual communities and state better places to visit, live, and work. We honor their tremendous contributions to Mississippi’s fourth-largest industry, and we are grateful for their strong support of Mississippi Tourism Association’s mission to unite all sectors of the tourism industry through advocacy, education and promotion. We wholeheartedly congratulate all of our award winners for their outstanding accomplishments and wish them continued success,” said Chris Chapman, 2022-2023 president of MTA and executive director of RTC.

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Release from Ridgeland Tourism Commission