“Last year, we had 23 million visitors and they spent $6.3 billion.”
Craig Ray, director of Visit Mississippi, says that’s just the beginning.
$6 billion is nothing to scoff at. In fact, that figure moved tourism into the #4 slot on the state’s most lucrative industries last year.
When it comes to highlighting the brightest points of attraction in Mississippi, the list tends to get crowded. “Our heritage and culture: from the blues trail and the country music trail, to the new B.B. King museum in Indianola and the brand-new Grammy Museum in Cleveland. All these enhance our music experience,” said Ray.
But it’s more than just music. Mississippi’s role in the fight for Civil Rights is also a major point of attraction to tourists. Two new museums are scheduled to open in Jackson this December, chronicling the deeds (both heroic and dastardly) that shaped the landscape of American freedom as we know it today.
Areas like the gulf coast, the pine belt, the historic (and mythical) Delta, as well as the forests and plains marching up to the hill country of northeast Mississippi all draw millions of people from across the globe. And more often than not, they find more than what they were looking for.