Recently we learned that the Army and the Marine Corps will become a smaller fighting unit, the Pentagon and top defense officials propose to delay some ships and may even scrap some defense programs. All of this is part of the plan to bring down our budget deficit. We all know the coast depends on a lot of defense dollars whether it be the money spent at the Seabee Base, Keesler or for ship contracts at Ingalls.
While we believe defense spending will still make up a big part of our coast economy, it is time for local leaders and coast citizens to develop other revenue sources to offset the military cutbacks. That is why it is so important for our tourism industry to band together and have one voice.
For too long we have not marketed all counties together. That approach needs to stop.The entire Mississippi Coast is a tourist destination and should be marketed that way. If we do an effective job of marketing our tourism attractions, we can bring thousands more people and dollars to South Mississippi.
Defense cuts pose some challenges, but they provide us the opportunity to strengthen other sectors of our economy. The choice is ours.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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