By WXXV Staff

Tourism is considered one of the main economic drivers, not only here on the Coast, but across the entire state. How did the Coast fare this year?

This afternoon, Director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Renee Areng answered that question during a State of the Travel Industry Address. According to Areng, in 2015 5.8 million visitors traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and spent $1.8 billion. Those numbers have continued rising in 2016. “Our assets are so varied and so unique to any other destination that we just want everybody to find out about it. We know through research that once they come, they fall in love with the Coast and we want them to come back and bring their friends.”

During today’s tourism meeting, Destination Marketing Association International President and CEO Don Welsh also addressed Coast leaders about the state of the travel and tourism industry.

Areng also gave a prediction of what the future holds for the rest of 2016 and 2017.

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