'VisitHattiesburg' celebrates rise in local tourism

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - VisitHattiesburg hosted multiple events this week, but today they recognized the rise in local tourism in honor of National Tourism week.

In 2015, visitors spent over $268 million in the Hattiesburg area, up $10 million over last year.

National Tourism week is celebrated across the county as industry leaders and professionals work to recognize and promote the value of tourism in their communities.

Executive Director, Rick Taylor said, "We are very excited about some of the projects that are ongoing in terms of our infrastructure, we have new hotels coming into place, new additions that are coming that we think will pull outside our market."

Taylor mentioned that part of the rise comes from the millennial crowd interested in local businesses like the craft beer industry.

"There something about millennials that resonates about authenticity and whats truly Hattiesburg, the great news is that its also resonates with the baby boomers as well" said Taylor.

The organization said that the local tourism has grown by 4% since last year.

Taylor added that the rise in local tourism supports more than 4,100 jobs.

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