New tri-county tourism group hits the ground running - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New tri-county tourism group hits the ground running

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau met on Tuesday for the first time in Biloxi. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau met on Tuesday for the first time in Biloxi.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A newly formed three county tourism group has hit the ground running. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau met on Tuesday for the first time in Biloxi. Commissioners said they have a lot on their plate and they're happy about it.

With tourism such a large economic engine for the area, newly appoint tourism commissioners said it makes sense that Harrison, Jackson, and Hancock counties speak with one voice.

Clay Wagner is an appointee from Hancock County. "I'm just glad to see that we've finally gotten this started. This has been a very long time coming to get all of three counties together to working the tourism initiative as one," said Wagner. "To finally sit at the table and it's happened is very exciting."

At their first meeting, commissioners found out there is a lot that goes with creating a new organization. And that they're up against several deadlines.

"The fiscal year ends September 30th, so we have new budget work that needs to be done," said Rich Westfall, a Jackson County appointee. "A lot of governance work to put together. Bylaws, committees. so it's really right now the work that we do is really going to for the future of this organization."

Harrison County appointee Kim Fritz said, "It's scary and exciting at the same time. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. As a group together I think we can definitely get it all done and it will benefit everyone on the Gulf Coast."

The commissioners will get support from a committee of representing the airport as well as the hotel, casino, golf, restaurant, attractions, and sports industries.

"We have the official advisory board which so far is seven people that are appointed from their respect industries within the tourism industry," said Beth Carriere, Tourism Director. "They have a voice. They will meet. They will advise us and help us when we have situations that we need their advice or need their support. Or if they need ours."

Commissioners decided to hold their meetings the fourth Tuesday of every month at 1:30pm. The next meeting will be August 23rd. 

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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