JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Tourism Association presented VisitHATTIESBURG with the 2018 Tourism Achievement Award this week at the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Oxford, Miss. on Sept. 23-25, 2018.
“This recognition should be given to our tourism industry leaders who are valued for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments. We are happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our organization but to the entire tourism industry,” Dede Mogollon, 2018-2019 president of MTA, said.
The Tourism Achievement Award was presented to VisitHATTIESBURG for their vision and commitment to tourism in their community. The mission of VisitHBURG is to actively position themselves as a year-round premier leisure and business destination in the Gulf South. Vision 2020, VisitHBURG’s strategic plan, outlines four focus areas: grow tourism’s economic impact; communicate and amplify their story; strengthen partner network and collaboration; prioritize placemaking and enhance the HBURG experience. VisitHBURG’s celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week 2018 exemplified not only the stated mission but also the focus areas.
“We are committed to our core mission of growing tourism in Hattiesburg and are honored to receive this statewide Tourism Achievement award from MTA. Our team looks forward to celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week each year, because it provides a nationwide platform for Hattiesburg’s growing tourism industry. More importantly, we enjoy dedicating the week to giving back and thanking our local hotel, restaurant, and tourism partners for their first-class service year-round,” Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG, said.
National Travel & Tourism Week is an annual event coordinated by the U.S. Travel Association and is designed to celebrate the value of tourism and the contributions travel makes to the economy. The 2018 celebration, held May 6 -12, marked the 35th anniversary of this 1983 U.S. Congressional resolution. The theme for 2018’s NTTW was Travel: Then & Now, which paid tribute to how far travel has come and the many ways it has changed over the years.
VisitHBURG celebrated the yearly tradition with events honoring local partners, sharing the value of tourism, and encouraging visitors to take a trip to HBURG. Focusing on the national theme, VisitHBURG’s goal was to create a sense how and what visitors would experience travelling to the Hub City in the 1960s. Additionally, the official #NTTW18 hashtag was used throughout the week’s activities on all of VisitHBURG’s social media channels to connect to the national messaging.
The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is an annual event in which industry leaders gather to share best practices for attracting visitors to Mississippi. The awards program held at the Conference recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of tourism by members of the 300+ member private sector organization as well as honoring travel media, community leaders and friends of the industry. Awards were presented in 15 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the travel industry or individual achievement.
In 2017, VisitHATTIESBURG received the Tourism Promotion of the Year at the Mississippi’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism for their new website, social media presence, and general rebranding efforts.