The Hattiesburg American, 2/17/9

Mississippi organizations should hold annual meetings in Mississippi, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant told a panel of Mississippi lawmakers and approximately 300 participants Monday at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.

It’s heartbreaking for me to know that as badly as we need the tourism dollars, associations with Mississippi in the name are having their annual meetings in Alabama and Florida,” Bryant said to a round of applause. “Keep your meetings here.”

Bryant said Mississippians were traveling closer to home because of the current economic recession, and that the state needed to find ways to not only keep residents here, but to attract tourists from out of state as well.

“There’s a lot of gloom and doom out there right now, but not here. Not in Mississippi,” he said. “It’s time to come home.”