It's National Travel and Tourism Week

By David Elliott, News Anchor


The U.S. Travel Association has declared this National Travel and Tourism Week. The goal is to highlight the economic impact the tourism industry has on places like the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

We all know how important the tourism industry is to the economy along the Mississippi coast. 

"It's our opportunity through the U.S. Travel Association to tell our residents about the impact on their everyday lives and their taxes. With 15 million workers across the country and 2.3 trillion in direct spending, we save every taxpayer about $1,200 a year," said Renee Areng, Executive Director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast has produced features that spotlight workers in the industry, the people behind the scenes. It's part of a national campaign. The South Mississippi version is called The 50 Faces of Travel.

"We we're going to share that throughout the week on social media, television, and print," Areng said. 

According to the Travel Association, the industry contributes $2.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, provides 15 million jobs and $32.4 billion in wages annually.

Meanwhile, at Monday's meeting of the Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, two new members, appointed by the Harrison County Board of Supervisors, were introduced. 

Mary Cracchiolo Spain, from Beau Rivage, and Dan Wittman, owner of Wut SUP Standup Paddleboards & Pontoon Boat Rentals, joined the 15-member board.

"I'm excited to represent the smaller attractions on the coast. We have our big attractions. I'm interested in bringing the spotlight to beach vendors and other small attractions," Wittman said.

Harrison County supervisors appoint nine members to the board. Hancock and Jackson counties appoint three each.

The tourism board went into executive session to discuss and negotiate a new contract for Areng. An announcement on that is expected at the next meeting on May 18.

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