Hancock Co. Chamber of Commerce celebrates National Tourism Week

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce has put a lot of effort into celebrating National Tourism Week. Thursday, they welcomed more than 16 corporate businesses to Park Ten Lanes in Diamondhead for an event they call Rally at the Alley.

The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Tish Williams, figured knocking down some pins would be a creative way for these business leaders to come together.

"Let's face it, tourism is a team sport. So what better way to make a statement than to come together through a team building event like the Rally at the Alley," said Williams.

What Williams means by team sport, is that tourism could never succeed without every business leader being on board with the importance of getting new people into Mississippi's West Coast.

"This is our opportunity to make a collective statement about why we believe tourism is so important, not only to Hancock County, but to the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Williams.

Travel and tourism expenditures exceed $1.7 billion on the Gulf Coast, and employ more than 24,000 people. With figures like that, Williams says they have no choice but to celebrate what tourism does for the economy.

"We don't want people to just visit here. When they visit here, we want them to see the beauty of our location and we hope that one day they will choose to become residents of Hancock County and the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Williams.

Organizers of the Rally at the Alley event hope to make it an annual thing. This year's winning team is the first to take home the Hancock Chamber Corporate Cup.

To wrap up Hancock County's celebration of National Tourism Week, on Friday, they will be cutting the ribbon on their new beach volleyball courts in Waveland. On Saturday, they will be hosting a USA Volleyball tournament, and that night is second Saturday in Bay St. Louis.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved