The Ridgeland Tourism Commission has been recognized by the Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) for its impact and accomplishments in tourism industry advocacy.
During the annual tourism awards program held by the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at Caesar’s Entertainment Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Tunica, Visit Ridgeland was awarded “2022 Best Advocacy Campaign of the Year” for its Destination Business Plan and partnerships within the city to advance the tourism product.
“It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate these talented members who work tirelessly for their communities and organizations. These awards are very competitive, and that is a testament to the caliber of work being produced by our partners and the overall strength of Mississippi tourism. It is our honor to work together with these outstanding professionals to continue to grow and prosper our industry,” MTA Executive Director Danielle Morgan said.
When the tourism industry began to rebuild and welcome guests back as COVID-19 restrictions began to be lifted, the Ridgeland Tourism Commission (RTC) wanted to provide a destination that made guests feel safe, welcomed, and informed. To start, RTC updated industry partner lists to receive monthly industry-specific information through an e-newsletter campaign, growing engagement more than 112 percent.
Next, RTC enhanced their promotion program by reaching out to Ridgeland hotels, restaurants and attractions; creating a private Facebook group for these partners to share information. The Visit Ridgeland TikTok channel was started to promote visitation and give partners another platform to promote themselves. Through all their social media efforts combined, Visit Ridgeland saw a 551 percent increase in impressions and a 1,144 percent increase in engagements.
They also created an annual Destination Business Plan to better share tourism goals and integrate tourism into the local economy. They have worked to create even stronger partnerships with local media who help share their messages.
During National Tourism Week, RTC highlighted what tourism means to Madison County – 2,750 jobs, over $35 million in wages, and $232,943,000 in expenditures by visitors.
The MTA’s annual educational and professional development event brought together almost 200 tourism industry professionals from across the state as well as tourism partners from the surrounding region. The annual awards allow MTA the opportunity to recognize members who excel in various sectors of the industry. Awards were presented in 17 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.