Tourism Directors Fear State Advertising Cuts Could Hurt The Coast

State tourism officials say a new $2 million advertising campaign will promote the coast.  The ads will start running in February, five months after the state's last ads ran.

Because of that hiatus, the Harrison County Tourism Commission said the coast lost an estimated $12 million in business.

Now commissioners worry that the area will lose even more money if lawmakers cut the state tourism commission's budget in half.

"The state advertising is a tremendously positive impact," tourism director Steve Richer said.  "We're down in inquiries for the beginning of this year. And it all refers back to the loss of state referred inquries from their advertising.

Harrison County tourism officials are urging lawmakers to keep the state tourism budget at the same level it's at now.