New Tourism Campaign Targets Upscale Travelers

Tired of the same old daily routine? Wish you could break away? Well, buckle up and get ready to "Take Your Life Out For a Spin".

That was the scene of a stage production put on by the Harrison County Tourism Commission at the Saenger Theatre Wednesday, to launch its new advertising campaign.

"The message itself is this destination is an incredible place full of authentic things to do that people can't find elsewhere," Bruce Turkel said.

Turkel heads the Miami marketing team that created the campaign, showing off the area's unique qualities, variety and heritage. They came up with the new spin, after riding around in an R-V.

"We noticed that a lot of things spin here, like the roulette wheels, the slot machines. We thought about the water parks and people spinning, and the Ohr Museum and the spinning pots and it just made so much sense."

The goal of the campaign is to attract more upscale, frequent travelers.

"They're usually more affluent, better educated. They're the kind of folks who want to discover new stuff first," Tourism Director Steve Richer said.

Tourism leaders believe once travelers roll through the Mississippi Gulf Coast and discover that there's more here than just casinos, they'll keep coming back.

"We have the opportunity to be extremely successful, maybe even the hottest new destination in the U.S."

The commercials are airing in seven major cities like Houston, Louisville and Tampa. Ads are also appearing in magazines and airline publications. The campaign costs $1.5 million.