The Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) presented their annual awards for tourism achievement for the year 2017 during activities at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at the Oxford Conference Center in Oxford, Miss. on Sept. 23-25, 2018. The awards program recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of tourism by members of the 300+-member private sector organization as well as honoring travel media, community leaders and friends of the industry. Awards were presented in 15 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.
Receiving the award for Destination Marketing Organization of the Year in the $750,000 & Over Budget Category was Visit Ridgeland. Well known in the state as a shopping destination, a cyclist’s haven and home to the Bill Waller Craft Center, Ridgeland celebrates 20 years of success and dedication in marketing Ridgeland as a tourism destination. Within the city, it is home to a national park, miles of multi-purpose trails, a 33,000-acre recreational reservoir and a variety of annual events. After extensive research, Ridgeland presented a new brand, Ridgeland…Inside + Out. Like the destination itself, the strapline is simple and elegant. It sets up the idea that Ridgeland is an outdoor destination with tremendous indoor assets. It invites exploration of natural beauty brought indoors and style and design found outdoors.
Ridgeland Tourism continues to advance the economic vitality of tourism in Ridgeland through defined strategies, collaborative promotions and enhanced marketing of their tourism brand. Tax trends continue to increase (12% over the past three years), and hotel occupancy is among the highest in the state with growth in weekend occupancy due to partnership activities being a strategy of the Ridgeland Tourism Commission. These accomplishments, among many others, contributed to their overwhelming success as a destination marketing organization in 2017-2018.
“This recognition should be given to our tourism industry leaders who we value for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments. We are happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our organization but to the entire tourism industry,” said Dede Mogollon, 2018-2019 president of MTA.
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