Governor Announces $5 Million In Tourism Restoration Grants

Governor Haley Barbour announced on Friday approval of $5 million in federal grants to help Mississippi's tourism industry promote and market areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

"Mississippi's tourism industry generates about 75,000 jobs and is critical to our state's continuing recovery from the worst disaster in American history," Governor Barbour said. "These grants will help local tourism agencies spread the word that we're open for business with a wide variety of attractions and events."

For these particular grants, the Mississippi Development Authority's Tourism Division competitively rated grant recipients based on the following criteria:

  1. effectively marketing South Mississippi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region as a tourism destination - both nationally and internationally;
  2. highlighting Mississippi's family attractions, festivals/events and cultural assets unique to the areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina;
  3. demonstrating an effort to market the most impacted areas to conventions, media, travel trade and other related markets; and,
  4. restoring business investor confidence in the region.

Organizations such as the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center are currently entertaining children, holding theater productions and providing local school support. Others are in varying stages of repair and planning, such as the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art and the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.

Below is a list of the grants and recipients:

MS Hotel & Lodging Association - $56,033.35

Cruisin the Coast, Inc. - $270,390.15

Coast Golf Tourism Partnership - $200,289.00

MS Gulf Coast Attractions Association - $23,965.08

Hattiesburg Tourism Commission - $524,266.80

Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau - $976,621.42

Harrison County Tourism Commission - $1,669,075.00

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art  - $156,109.92

Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum - $93,885.47

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center - $50,122.32

MS Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, Inc. - $26,587.90

MS Coast Coliseum & Convention Ctr; '08 Event Marketing Plan - $12,047.38

MS Coast Coliseum & Convention Ctr; '09 Event Marketing Plan - $9,043.05

The MS Gulf Coast Billfish Classic - $79,418.59

City of D'Iberville; '08-'09 Event Marketing - $169,125.37

Smokin the Sound, Inc. - $106,002.95

Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library - $47,315.77

MS Coast Coliseum & Convention Ctr; '08 Coast Crawfish Festival - $30,043.35

MS Coast Coliseum & Convention Ctr; '09 Coast Crawfish Festival - $30,043.35

Highlands & Islands Assoc; Scottish Highland Games/Celtic Music Festival - $7,535.54

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory; Summer Promotion Marketing - $15,682.63

Gulf Coast Search & Rescue, Inc.; Cajun Swamp Festival - $11,016.63

Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, Main Street & Visitors Center - $62,473.64

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce - $113,163.29

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art - $102,698.18

Stone County Economic Development Partnership - $80,115.60

Picayune Main Street, Inc. - $76,928.50