Hattiesburg tourism increases by 3 percent

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The city of Hattiesburg is growing with new hotels and more local attractions for the community to enjoy. VisitHattiesburg said visitor spending in the city increased by 3%.

Executive Director, Rick Taylor said, "In this uncertain economy I think that this is a great indicator, that Hattiesburg is attractive to visitors."

VisitHattiesburg received new local numbers, "2 million people visit Hattiesburg in any given year, of that number $725,000 are from outside the state of Mississippi" said Taylor.

Spending in Hattiesburg is at $268 million this fiscal year, last year it was at $258 million.

Taylor said, "We want to focus on them coming to Hattiesburg, spending that money, that creates jobs in the tourism industry."

To keep visitor numbers rising next fiscal year, Taylor said new attractions are being added to the zoo and local surroundings.

"We have high ropes adventure course, which will open at the end of August, that will of course add more reasons to come to the zoo" he said. The city will soon see a trampoline park too.

"This is what we focus on, steady consistent, upward track with tourists, and with their spending" said Taylor.

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