Travel writers begin tour of South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Travel writers begin tour of South Mississippi

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

This week, 12 travel writers are getting a firsthand look of the best of what South Mississippi has to offer tourists.                                          

Sunday was the first of a four day tour hosted by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).  

They are hosting 12 national and regional travel journalists. They're rolling out the red carpet for the group starting in Ocean Springs and then to several other locations throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the coming week.  

CVB officials are hoping these writers will enjoy their experience on the Gulf Coast and inspire others to come here by writing about it.  

Some of the writers include, AAA Southern Traveler, The Huffington Post, Tee to Green Magazine, Guy Harvey Magazine, and other regional/national magazines and online travel web sites.  

"A lot of local places have donated rooms and donated dinners. CTA has donated transportation. But we do cover some of the expenses," said Taryn Sammons with the CVB.  

Writers started their introduction to the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum by meeting with CVB Executive Director Beth Carriere and Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway.

"A lot of these people have never been here before so this is a great opportunity for us to show our area through a firsthand experience. The writer gets to come here and give a firsthand account of the area. We aren't just putting some of our budget to these publications, were getting something more valuable, and that's that firsthand account," Sammons said.  

By Wednesday the journalists will have visited Biloxi, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs. They'll check out casinos, a golf course, local restaurants, local boutiques and experiencing the Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade on Tuesday.  

Sammons said, during past familiarization tours, she's learned Fat Tuesday is a favorite.  

"It's really a once in a life time experience for a lot of these writers," Sammons said. "We definitely are rolling out the red carpet for them."  

The goal is that these writers write great things about the Gulf Coast.  

"Because of some of the media perception of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil crisis, it is very important to us to get the positive message out there that there is plenty to do and the Gulf Coast has always been open and ready for visitors," Sammons said.  

That's the response Sammons said she wants from the writers.  

The writers will be riding on the Convention Visitors Bureau float, which number 33 in the GCCA parade is rolling Tuesday at 1 p.m. in downtown Biloxi.

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