By ALEXIS WILLIAMS
Coast tourism leaders are touting improved numbers for 2016, saying that 6.2 million people visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast last year. Their goal of 7 million visitors by 2020 is well within reach and hopefully attainable before then.
“We truly believe that one voice is working,” said Renee Areng, Executive Director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. Areng notes that 2016 was the first year all three coastal counties, Hancock, Harrison and Jackson, were part of a regional tourism marketing effort. “We have a great team, and we are streamlining the messaging where we are getting the best results.”
Last year leisure and hospitality jobs were also on the upswing, growing to 30,300 jobs. This was an increase of 2,410 jobs since 2012.