Tourism Leaders Offer Free Gas To South Mississippi Visitors - - The News for South Mississippi

Tourism Leaders Offer Free Gas To South Mississippi Visitors

BILOXI (WLOX) -- The current state of the economy is threatening South Mississippi tourism. With the increase in gas prices, tourism leaders say there weren't as many people planning to travel to the coast this holiday weekend.

It's just one reason why leaders are offering a new incentive for friends and family members making the trip to South Mississippi.

Wednesday, rooms were quickly selling out at a Biloxi Best Western.

"We usually try to save about ten rooms, but we will definitely be booked up for this year," says Niyal Desai with Best Western.

However, this time last year, Desai says, the rooms were selling at a much faster rate.

"It's starting to pick up, but with gas prices going up, it has affected it a little bit," Desai said.

The Best Western gets much of its overflow from nearby casino hotels. But a new gas incentive is giving visitors just one more reason to check into the smaller hotels. 

Linda Hornsby with the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association says they teamed up with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau to offer a $50 gas voucher for anyone staying in South Mississippi for at least two nights.

"The first ad ran June 15th and our phone started ringing," Hornsby said.

South Mississippi is one of the few destination places offering the gas incentive.

"It's been going on just over two weeks and we've already exceeded what we hoped to achieve by Labor Day," Hornsby said.

At check-in, visitors staying at any hotel in one of the three coastal counties will receive the $50 gas voucher that can be used at any Kangaroo Station.

It's an incentive leaders are hoping will get people one step closer to the coast.

The gas incentive runs now through September 1st. For more information, or to make hotel reservations, you can call 1-888-216-1552.

By Elise Roberts

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