Conference looks to boost outdoor recreation, tourism development

If you’re thinking of developing an outdoor recreation/tourism-related business, it might be in your best interest to make a road trip to Alabama.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and MSU’s Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development are promoting the annual Alabama-Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 28-30. The event will be in Guntersville, Ala., and the theme is outdoor recreation.

Speakers from the United Kennel Club, Mossy Oak Media Productions, the Alabama Bass Trail, the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau and more will teach participants how to make the most of local opportunities.

“The speakers will help participants understand what it takes to host large-scale events, such as hunting and field trial events, and market these attractions without losing their rural identities,” said Becky Smith, assistant Extension professor in the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics. “Some of the greatest outdoor recreation and tourism attractions in the country are in Mississippi and Alabama. These resources provide opportunities for rural communities to generate dollars and jobs.”

The conference is designed for landowners, business leaders, Extension agents with community and economic development responsibilities, and local tourism personnel.

The conference registration cost is $150.

For more information or to register, visit www.almsruraltourism.com, or contact Agnes Zaointz at the Tenn Tom Waterway at (662) 328-3286.

If you’re not in a hurry to start a budsiness, you can wait until next year and save some gas money. The conference alternates between Mississippi and Alabama. The 2014 conference will be in Greenwood.

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