Increasing Tourism In Mississippi

Increasing tourism throughout the South is the goal of one organization. Leaders from across the south are spending the week in South Mississippi to bring more money to their states.

"It's just a great place to come and have a great time," says Susan Whitaker, the chairman of  the board for Travel South.

The annual conference aims to boost tourism throughout the south.

"Even though we are less than 25 percent of the total number of states in the union, we make up more than 50 percent of the travel expenditures throughout the U.S.," Whitaker said.

Representatives from 12 states including Arkansas and Virginia made the trip to South Mississippi for the five day conference.

"Every part of the state has a booth where that buyer can go to them and talk about the product that they have and what is there to do on the Gulf Coast," said Craig Ray, Mississippi's Tourism Director.

The conference is made of group travel representatives and tour operators wanting to learn more about what's new and exciting in the south in hopes of bring more money to southern states.

However, Ray says the conference in itself is already a boost for South Mississippi's economy.

"There are 630 guests that are here so the economy dollars for most of them staying here a full week in hotels and dining. You get to experience the economic impact of the guests staying here and then also to share in future booking of the state of Mississippi," said Ray.

The Travel South Tour will continue at the coliseum until Wednesday.