BILOXI, Miss.–Keeping people coming to the Mississippi coast, and maybe staying a day longer than they would’ve, is the goal of a group of state leaders who have been meeting this week. Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann, Jamie Miller, head of the Dept. of Marine Resources, and the Miss. Dept. of Environmental quality were some of the participants.
Hosemann said Wednesday in an interview that the seminar has been on how to further develop tourism, post Katrina.
“We own some islands down here, Deer Island, and we’re arranging transportation to it for people to come and stay an extra day in Mississippi,” said Hosemann.
He said there will be a boat from Biloxi to the island.
“The legislature appropriated enough money to build a pier there and that’ll be under construction soon.”
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He said the run may be in operation by the end of the year.
“You don’t find very many islands that have nothing on them. It’s like the Caribbean.”
“Just to get people to stay in Mississippi another day is a big economic benefit for us.”
Hosemann said people spend about $300 per day while visiting the coast. There are five million visitors per year, he said. He said there may be an extra $150 million in economic impact from new tourism efforts, which includes the new minor league team, The Shuckers, set to start playing in Biloxi in June.