City brings in tourism consultant, gears up for 300th anniversary
Published: April 19,2013
Tags: anniversary, bed and breakfast, celebration, city, city government, consultant, history, hospitality, hotel, inn, motel, municipal, municipality, restaurant, rtetail, shop, tourism, tourist, vacation, visitor
NATCHEZ — Tourism consultants will evaluate Natchez in coming months as the city gears up for 300th anniversary celebrations in 2016.
Leaders hope the anniversary will boost the city’s tourism industry over a yearlong period, in part by creating new festivals or extending existing ones, reports The Natchez Democrat.
Consultant Berkeley Young will examine the city’s convention and visitor bureau, survey tourists about Natchez and analyze the area’s hotels and inns.
“You don’t just say, ‘If you build it, they will come,'” Young told attendees at a tourism summit . “You need research — who are they, why will they come and how long will they stay?”
Tourism chief Connie Taunton says it’s the most comprehensive study of Natchez tourism done since the early 1990s. She said the research will help tourism promoters adjust to market shifts
Young said tourists are now doing more last-minute planning, making shorter trips that are closer to home and are not traveling in the traditional family unit of mother, father and children.
The average tourist in today’s market, Young said, is seeking a luxury experience that is something like therapy.
“For most travelers coming to Natchez, it is the need to come here and leave all their problems behind and relax and have a therapeutic experience that brings them,” he said. “The need to get away trumps the price of gas, the lack of a job and debt, politics and family.
Consultant Jennifer Barbee also spoke at the summit, outlining a plan to market Natchez’s tricentennial into a year-round event that results in full-time full hotel capacity.
Barbee said such a plan would include premiering a new, two-week long food festival named Beer, Bourbon and Biscuits that she said could attract 65,000 people and net the city $875,000 after operational costs.
In conjunction with that, existing festivals and events — including Spring Pilgrimage — could be expanded, and new ideas could be sprinkled throughout the year, she said.
Some of the new ideas Barbee mentioned included a celebrity golf tournament, a historically themed anti-prohibition party and mixology event and a genealogy weekend.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
Mississippi Economic Council
Mississippi Chambers of Commerce
Mississippi State Legislature
Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Economic Development Council
North Mississippi News
Social Security Disability Lawyer
Auto Accidents Lawyer
Top Posts & Pages
- Aluminum company rumored for Columbus: 'clock' is for website, not plant site
- Shale oil: market correction or longterm direction?
- Miss. surgeon sentenced in tax evasion case
- MBJ exclusive: Jackson’s new airport CEO fulfills desire to taking on the top job
- MARTIN WILLOUGHBY: Gary Herring building tomorrow by educating today
- 'Blue Economy' important for Mississippi's future
- J.McLaughlin to open in Highland Village next spring
- WILLOUGHBY: Mayo Flynt leads AT&T Mississippi by enjoying both work and workers
- Hyatt-Place is Columbus’ newest hotel option