Mississippi is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week by highlighting the travel and tourism industry during a special celebration at the Lauderdale County Welcome Center in Toomsuba.
“More than 24 million visitors made their way to Mississippi last year, spending $6.51 billion in communities across the state,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “Tourism is not only vitally important to the economy, but also to the preservation and celebration of our unique culture.”
National Travel & Tourism Week is celebrated each year during the second week of May and unites communities across America to highlight why travel matters to American jobs, economic growth, and personal well-being.
Talking about the 24 million visitors, Ray said it was the largest number of visitors the state has seen since before Katrina. He added that with the $6.51 billion those visitors spent in expenditures $5 billion of those dollars were spent by out of state travelers.
Across Mississippi, the industry accounts for 89,610 direct jobs and $3.17 billion in annual income for total direct, indirect and induced employment.
With recent tourism expansion happening in the state, visitors have been able to experience Mississippi through various museums such as the Grammy Museum in Mississippi, Mississippi’s Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian, and the Civil Rights and Mississippi History Museums in Jackson to name a few. Ray adds that many are flocking to the Coast for gaming and there is a push for more family-friendly experiences with a new Aquarium which will be coming to the coast in 2020.