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It’s National Tourism Week: Coastal MS looks towards a promising future

Gulf Coast
Photo courtesy of Coastal Mississippi/Facebook

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), from May 2nd through 8th, is an annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry.

This week will highlight the power of travel and the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the U.S. economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America.

The 38th annual NTTW arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the U.S. economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending is down nearly $500 billion, costing the US economy nearly $1.1 trillion, and the number of travel-supported jobs decreased by 34%, from 17 million in 2019 to just 11 million in 2020.

“NTTW takes on a special significance this year as the travel industry looks to rebound quickly from the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The past year was incredibly challenging, but we saw the full power of the travel industry on display in the way we united and supported one another through this crisis.”

Tourism is the lifeblood of Mississippi’s tri-county coastal region, and while the impact of COVID-19 has inarguably been indelible, Coastal Mississippi has nonetheless seen successes and growth in the past year as one of the highest performing destinations in the nation in 2020. While nationally, room demand was down 35% between December 2020 and February 2021, Coastal Mississippi only saw a decrease of 15.5%. Additionally, Coastal Mississippi’s occupancy only decreased by 9.9%, compared to the national average decrease of 33.3.

“There is no doubt that this has been an incredibly challenging time for the travel and tourism industry worldwide, but this week serves as a great reminder of the importance of the industry to our coastal communities and state as a whole. This event highlights the remarkable and resilient spirit of the industry and our workforce,” said Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi. “Coastal Mississippi is perfectly poised to welcome visitors to a destination with an abundance of safe, enjoyable adventures, small coastal communities offering unique experiences, plenty of space to roam, and Southern hospitality at its finest,” said Segarra.

Coastal Mississippi is encouraging its partners across the region to contribute to the conversation and highlight the importance of the industry throughout the week, using the hashtag #MSCoastLife.

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