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Coast CVB invites county to join in promoting tourism

JACKSON COUNTY — The Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau has invited Jackson County to join Harrison and Hancock counties in tourism promotion.

Beth Carriere, executive director of the bureau, presented a memorandum of understanding to the Board of Supervisors yester, according to The Mississippi Press.

“We would hope that Jackson County would want to join in with the other counties and get to work with us officially on marketing the Mississippi Gulf Coast as one destination,” Carriere said.

The bureau didn’t get an immediate answer. The supervisors directed the board attorney to look over the memorandum and address the issue within the month.

The bureau is currently operating on a budget of $3 million a year from Harrison County, collected from a 2.25 percent lodging and sales tax, and an additional $2,500 a month from Hancock County.

It was unclear how much Jackson County would be asked to contribute to the bureau’s efforts.

When Supervisor John McKay asked Carriere about costs, she said she was more concerned at that point for the county to have a voice in promoting tourism.

“We officially will become marketing partners and you will have a voice in the process,” Carriere said.

Carriere discussed the bureau’s “Play Your Way” print and television campaign, and said the bureau is getting ready to offer a Club Gulf Coast loyalty card and a “Join the Search” campaign this summer.

A map that will be distributed to visitor destinations across the coast will show the area from Louisiana line to the Alabama line with no county lines visible.

“Visitors don’t question what county they are in. They are just concerned with the attraction,” Carriere said.

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