September 9, 2016

Erin Kenna

Public/Media Relations Manager


Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast is Tourism Office of the Year

Birmingham, Ala. – The regional destination marketing organization charged with promoting tourism for Mississippi’s three coastal counties was chosen as the Tourism Office of the Year at the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Fall Forum on September 8, 2016.   

Each year, STS recognizes one destination marketing organization with the Tourism Office of the Year Shining Example Award for budgets exceeding $2 million. Nominated offices are evaluated on overall performance of the organization and demonstrable accomplishments through effective tourism marketing including advertising, promotions and public relations.

On the win, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast (VMGC) Executive Director Renée Areng says, “The growth and development across the region is unprecedented, and we are proud to promote the Coast to all travelers! Finding new and unique ways to position the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a destination for the traveler is our gift every day, and we could not be more pleased to share this award and honor with our communities.”

June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016 was filled with victories for VMGC, including: establishing a localized social media campaign, aimed to encourage residents and visitors to share their #MSCoastLife; a complete overhaul of the organization’s website,; creation and implementation of a regional hospitality training program, Coast Champions; further development of the area’s culinary culture through, a hub for locals and visitors alike to explore and engage; a partnership with Google Maps through the Google Trekker program to virtually put the region on the map; an announcement of an inaugural coast‐wide running fest; and a framework for the future with studies conducted regarding visitor perceptions and sports facilities.

About Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast

Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast is an organization charged with promoting South Mississippi as a tourism and convention destination worldwide. Its mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure, convention, sports and business visitors to the area. It is dedicated to maximizing the travel and tourism industry for South Mississippi.

About Southeast Tourism Society

Founded in 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to promoting and developing tourism in its member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its headquarters are in Atlanta. The membership includes state travel offices, attractions, lodging properties, resorts, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, travel media and other travel related organizations.