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Visitor spending in Mississippi reaches $6.3 billion

MBJ staff

Visitors spent $6.343 billion in Mississippi in fiscal 2017, which ended June 30, the second-highest amount on record, according to the new Visit Mississippi Tourism Economic Impact Report.

Out-of-state-visitors spent an estimated $4.9 billion in the state in fiscal 2017, making up more than three-quarters of total visitor spending. The number of international visitors grew by 1.6 percent from calendar 2016 to 2017, totaling 149,900.

“Mississippi continues to attract visitors to destinations throughout our state,” said Gov. Phil Bryant. “These latest numbers show a healthy appetite for our world-class food, culture and hospitality.”

An estimated 23.15 million people visited destinations in Mississippi in fiscal 2017, spending $46 million more than the previous year and generating $398.7 million for the state’s General Fund. Travel and tourism accounted for 7.4 percent of the total General Fund for the second year in a row.

The state’s performance in other key categories also eclipsed fiscal 2016. Estimated direct employment in the travel and tourism industry rose to a 12-year high of 87,335 in fiscal 2017. Total employment in the sector, including all direct, indirect and induced jobs, was 124,680.

“Travel and tourism is our fourth-largest employer, accounting for $3 billion in total labor income for Mississippians annually,” said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “With 10.9 percent of all jobs in the state connected to travel and tourism, this vibrant industry is vital for the continued growth of our economy.”

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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