BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The state just released a report on the tourism and travel industry in Mississippi. According to the Mississippi Development Authority, visitors spent more than 6.343 billion dollars in the state. Tourism related jobs also continue to rise.
That $6.3 billion amount plus the tourism revenue number is the second highest amount on record. Looking deeper into the numbers, it's evident that the Mississippi Gulf Coast continues to be the prime contributor to keeping the travel and tourism business strong in Mississippi.
The CEO of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Milton Segarra, said, "One-third of that business is right here on this Coast. Of the $6.3 billion, a little more than 2 billion is here. The 87,000 direct jobs in the industry, almost 27,000 are here. From the room tax and collections, a third is done here. That tells you how important the Coast is to the entire state of Mississippi in terms of tourism."
According to the statewide report, 23.15 million people visited destinations in Mississippi last year spending $46 million more than was spent in the previous year. The travel and tourism industry accounts for 3 billion dollars in total labor income statewide. State visitors spent an estimated 4.9 billion in the state in 2017. The number of international visitors grew by 1.6 percent between 2016 and 2017.
"Travel and tourism in Mississippi continues to have a positive impact by providing authentic, engaging visitor experiences," said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray.
The tourism industry accounted for nearly 8% of the total revenue going into Mississippi's general fund.