When tourism professionals convene in Natchez next week for the 6th Annual Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Summit, Mississippi State will be on hand as a major resource for the event.
To be held August 7-9, the summit is presented by the Mississippi Louisiana Rural Tourism Association and designed to help rural tourism entities throughout the two states learn strategies to help attract visitors to their areas. Anyone interested in tourism and community development may register at a cost of $100. The agenda and online registration is available at www.msgovt.org/misslouphp under "training."
The summit will open with a policy update on a very active year for the tourism industry in the legislature, and what new policies and changes will mean for both Mississippi and Louisiana. Mississippi Senator Lydia Chassaniol and Louisiana Representative Andy Anders will join Marty Wiseman of the Stennis Institute of Government, for this opening session. The theme of this year's summit is "I think I can, I think I can, I know I can!" Most sessions will be held at the Vue Hotel in Natchez.
Rachael Carter, project manager with MSU's Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, said the university works with the Mississippi Louisiana Rural Tourism Association, along with other board advisors, to develop relevant educational programming for the organization.
Topics of discussion this year will include the film industry, creative entrepreneurship, and culinary arts, as well as public relations strategies for tourism.
"Each year, we want to make sure we are meeting needs for tourism stakeholders to get the information they need to meet current challenges," Carter said. She explained that the MSU Extension Service, university-based Southern Rural Development Center, and Stennis Institute have assisted the organization by offering workshops throughout the year on topics such as utilizing social media and geocaching.
"We are planning already for next year to focus on topics such as working with the media and new uses of technology," Carter said.
Others who support the organization include Mississippi Main Street and Mississippi Development Authority's Division of Tourism, as well as Louisiana State University's Ag Center.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.