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Tag Archives: tourism

Tourism faces more challenges in 2010

  Excuse those in the state’s tourism industry if they do not shed a tear for 2009 as it comes to an end. The recession, job losses and the corresponding drop in discretionary spending made this year quite forgettable. There was a 7 percent decrease in visitor expenditures and direct tourism employment in FY2009 compared to prior year. Unfortunately, 2010 ...

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Q&A: Mary Beth Wilkerson, deputy director, Tourism Division, Mississippi Development Authority

Taking the reins ‘Tourism is economic development’ Mary Beth Wilkerson is currently the deputy director of tourism for the Mississippi Development Authority and has operational oversight of all division programs.  A Mississippi State University graduate, Wilkerson was recently appointed MDA’s director of tourism, a post she will assume effective Jan. 1, 2010.  She recently sat down with the Mississippi Business ...

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Dirt moving on hospitality/resort training center

HARRISON COUNTY — One of the key issues facing the tourism industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is workforce development. Finding and retaining personnel post-Hurricane Katrina has proven challenging. So, hopes are high for a new, state-of-the-art Hospitality and Resort Management Center on the Jefferson Davis campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC). The design work has been completed, ...

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Ray stepping down at MDA

JACKSON — Craig Ray, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Tourism Division, announced his resignation to take place at year end and his plans to pursue new opportunities in the industry. “We appreciate Craig’s leadership,” said Gray Swoope, executive director of MDA. “Under his direction, Mississippi’s tourism programs have become a significant part of the state’s economic development strategy.” ...

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Casinos' performance up and down

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Penn National Gaming Inc. reports net revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 of $620.4 million, up from $617.9 million during the same period last year. However, net income was well down — $21.4 million during the quarter of this year, compared to $147.5 million during the same quarter a year ago. Peter M. Carlino, chairman and ...

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Nature tourism being gauged

Great River Birding Trail looks to attract more birders from across the South and nation   It has been assumed for years now that the economic impact of bird watchers and nature enthusiasts coming into the Magnolia State with their binoculars — and wallets — is large. How large, no one knew for sure. However, that is about to change ...

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MDA has good track record with tourism

Swoope: We must look at what debt we can issue versus what we can get in return The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has a pretty good track record recently of nurturing the state’s tourism industry. The MDA supported bond bills the Legislature passed to get the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretative Center open. The museum opened about a year ...

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Going outside the box

Peranich makes sales pitch for bond issue to keep tourism projects on target. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA)  appeared Sept. 24 before the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to submit its budget request for fiscal year 2011, which starts next July. The numbers portion of the MDA’s presentation went off without a hitch. Executive director Gray Swoope told lawmakers the MDA ...

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Another blues marker to be erected

JACKSON — On Oct. 5, the Mississippi Development Authority/Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau will unveil a historic marker honoring Ace Records. Ace Records, a major player in the development of New Orleans rhythm and blues and subsequently rock and roll, was the first local record company of New Orleans based ...

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State's hotels offer lowest price

According to the hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI), Mississippi had the lowest average price per room per night among Southern states, dropping 11 percent from last year. The HPI also found that Florida cities were among the most popular U.S. destinations for domestic and international travelers. Florida and Georgia experienced the greatest drop in lodging prices among Southern states with ...

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