New tourism director excited about challenge ahead

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The right person at the right time, is how the President of the Harrison County Tourism Commission describes the agency's new director.

Ken Montana could hardly contain his excitement over the hiring of Beth Carriere. He is convinced she will be the point person, in ushering in a new era for tourism here in South Mississippi.

Carriere officially signed her contract at the commission's monthly meeting Monday. The job will not be an easy one and she said she knows that.

She is aware that there will be challenges ahead. When asked what will make the job a difficult one, she was very direct with her answer.

"Because you are dealing with egos and personalities," Carriere said.

But, Carriere is convinced those in the tourism business, as well as, others are in the mood to work together now and not apart.

"I want to bring people together," Carriere added.

Carriere certainly knows the Coast and what this area has to offer. She grew up in Jackson County, spent 6 years working with the Harrison County Tourism Commission and the last 15 years as Executive Director of the Hancock County Tourism Bureau.

She wants cooperation not just among the tourism folks but, others as well, like the private sector and governmental agencies.

"The Coast had a tradition of having territorial differences," Ken Montana added.

He said he is also convinced that now, things will be different.

"We are all brothers and sisters on this Coast, we have had our family squabbles but, we are together 100 percent right now," Montana said.

Will Beth Carriere's hiring really usher in, as Montana said "a new era in Coast tourism?"

Right now, nobody really knows. One thing is for sure, Beth Carriere is determined to make that happen.

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