Visit Mississippi Celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week
Jackson, Mississippi — May 8, 2017 — Visit Mississippi is putting the spotlight on the state’s $6.3 billion tourism industry at the state’s Welcome Centers during National Travel & Tourism Week, which runs through May 13.
The 34th annual National Travel and Tourism Week unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. Across Mississippi, travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance.
“Mississippi hosted 23 million total visitors last year, accounting for $6.3 billion spent and contributing $395.1 million to the state’s General Fund,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “With more than 86,000 Mississippians directly employed in travel and tourism, the sector continues to be an important and reliable driver of economic activity.”
Out-of-state visitors to Mississippi spent an estimated $4.8 billion in FY 2016, making up more than three-quarters of total travel and tourism revenue. More than 2.4 million of those visitors stopped at one of 13 state Welcome Centers.
“Welcome Centers are the state’s gateways to Mississippi’s unique culture and attractions for millions of travelers each year,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “As frontline ambassadors, these talented Mississippians not only extend hospitality but also add to our state’s tourism economy.”
Throughout the week, visitors to Welcome Centers will get a closer look at local attractions, cuisine and culture. At the Warren County center off I-20, artist Jerry McWilliams will donate artwork for a raffle, while Visit Meridian will give away coupons for local restaurants, hotels and attractions at the Lauderdale County center. Representatives at each Welcome Center have prepared special events and promotions highlighting their regions of the state.
“The staff at our Welcome Centers excel at introducing visitors to what makes Mississippi unique and guiding them to one-of-a-kind experiences,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “National Travel & Tourism Week gives us a platform to engage those visitors even more.”
Welcome Center staffers are available to help visitors with questions and to assist with lodging reservations daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.