Tourism officials gather yesterday in Jackson for the Mississippi Tourism Association’s “MTA Day at the Capitol,” and they had some significant numbers to share.
Visitors spent more than $6.25 billion in Mississippi last fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013) as the travel and tourism industry continues to have a major impact on the state’s economy. The Mississippi Tourism Association and Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division unveiled the numbers during the MTA Day at the Capitol.
Malcolm White, MDA’s Tourism Division director, said, “Mississippi’s tourism industry is one of our greatest assets. Our musical legacy, culinary heritage, literary and artistic traditions and more are a part of what brings people here. Those assets are the key drivers behind our creative economy and how we can seize the opportunities created by the one-of-a-kind experiences that can only happen in Mississippi.”
A complete breakdown of how tourism is a key component of the state’s economic development efforts is outlined in the Fiscal Year 2013 Travel and Tourism Economic Contribution Report. Published each fiscal year by MDA’s Tourism Division, the report is now available online at www.VisitMississippi.org.
According to the report, the state’s 21.6 million visitors spent $6.25 billion in Mississippi, up from $6.16 billion in FY2012. Those visitor expenditures produced $630 million in state and city/county tax revenues.
Other highlights from the report include:
• 2.5 million persons were serviced at the state’s 13 Welcome Centers
• Over 54,000 Welcome Center registrants were international travel
• Travel and tourism comprised 2.8 percent of the state gross domestic product
• Average visitor stay was 3.0 nights
“Travel and tourism is one of Mississippi’s largest export industries and a solid investment for our state,” said White. “For every $1 spent on advertising and marketing, Mississippi receives $6.46 in return. As the state’s fourth-largest private sector employer, the travel and tourism industry generates $2.74 billion in payroll income from 115,000 direct and indirect jobs.”