With coast tourism trying to bounce back post-Katrina, organizers of the The Promote Your Coast Tradeshow say it's right on time for summer.
"There are business owners who have asked for lists of attractions that are open, because they don't know who to refer people to unless they're the same type of business," says Janice Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, Media Relations Manager.
Not only business owners, but people working the front desks of hotels, waiting tables at restaurants and cab drivers driving visitors around town were also invited. Organizers say it's important they know where to send visitors for a good time on the coast. Both out-of- towners and locals who stopped by saw some options on where to get a good start on having some summer fun.
"Golf Courses are here, the charter boat association is represented, several of our attractions, eco-tourism and museums as well," says Jones.
The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, McCoy River Tours, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Mississippi Restaurant and Lodging Association were just a few of the 30 booths on hand. The Mississippi Charter Boats Captain's Association says it's important people know there is still plenty to do on the water.
"We are still here. We are still fishing. People think because of Katrina the fishing is not any good. Yes, we have lost a lot of boats but yes, we still have many boats to choose from," says Dorle Burton, Mississippi Charter Boat Captain's Association.
Burton says at least 51 charter boats are back online with everything from chandelier trips to off-shore and in-shore fishing trips. By working harder to get the word out on what's back, organizers hope to help coast tourism bounce back bigger and better.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau held the first Promote Your Coast in 2004. Organizers say they would like to work toward making this an annual event.