City of Hattiesburg celebrates National Tourism week


HATTIESBURG, MS. - The following is a press release from Visit Hattiesburg.

Hattiesburg’s tourism economy has continued to show impressive growth in the last decade. In celebration, VISITHATTIESBURGTM is recognizing the champions of local tourism during National Tourism and Travel Week 2017 on May 7-13 with a spread of events throughout the city that focus on the “Faces of Travel.”

This year’s theme of National Tourism and Travel Week serves to acknowledge those who make the industry strong and welcoming to all visitors. VISITHATTIESBURGTM will host multiple events to highlight the success of the tourism industry and to celebrate those who make a difference in Hattiesburg everyday.

“Tourism is a growing market sector in Hattiesburg, and visitors’ spending has nearly quadrupled in the last twenty years. We are grateful for our visitors year round, but this gives us the opportunity to join in with a national campaign to thank them,” Rick Taylor, executive director for the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commissions, said.

One such event is the Annual Tourism Partners Luncheon and Shining Star Awards ceremony held each year during National Tourism Week. The Shining Star Awards is Hattiesburg’s only service award program, and recipients are nominated by industry partners.

“National Tourism week gives us the opportunity to highlight the success of Hattiesburg, interact with the community partners and engage with our visitors in a fun and memorable way. We encourage everyone to visit our Facebook page for giveaways and event information throughout the week,” Marlo Dorsey, director of marketing and communications for the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commissions, said.

In 2016, visitors spent more than $274 million in the Hattiesburg area. This spending supports more than 4,200 local jobs, 500 restaurants, 2,700 hotel rooms, and hundreds of retail locations and attractions.

National Tourism Week Events in Hattiesburg: May 7-13

Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9

VISITHATTIESBURGTM team members will stop by to say hello to community partners, including hotels, restaurants, and retailers, throughout the area to recognize them for their service.

Wednesday, May 10: 16th Annual Tourism Partner’s Luncheon and Shining Star Awards at the Hattiesburg Train Depot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This event highlights local industry partners who have been nominated by their peers and supervisors for exceptional customer service. Nearly two-dozen local “Faces of Travel” will be recognized at this year’s annual luncheon.

Thursday, May 11: Tacos & Tequila at Hattiesburg Zoo from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join VISITHATTIESBURGTM after hours at the Zoo for tacos and craft tequila pairings, chips and salsa, complete with festive live music, South American animal encounters, giant Jenga, and beer pong! This event is limited to guests 21 or older only, and tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the gate the day of the event. Guests are encouraged to secure tickets as soon as possible as there are only 400 available.

Friday, May 12: Visitors Center Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

VISITHATTIESBURGTM ambassadors will have complimentary donuts and coffee from 9 a.m. until noon and cookies and lemonade from noon until 5 p.m. for guests. Visitors can also register to win an HBURG gift basket valued at $200. Those who purchase items from the Visitors Center store on Friday will receive 20 percent off their order.

Friday, May 12: VISITHATTIESBURGTM presents Live at Five from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The entire community is invited for a free, outdoor music event held at Town Square Park. VISITHATTIESBURGTM and all Hattiesburg Convention Commission facilities will be present. The first 100 guests to stop by the VISITHATTIESBURGTM booth will have the opportunity to spin the prize wheel for a chance to win.

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