Mississippi is being asked to more than triple what it spends convincing tourists to visit the Magnolia State. On Tuesday, the Mississippi Tourism Association met with Speaker of the House Philip Gunn to discuss increasing the tourism marketing budget from $3 million to $10 million. 

Tourism leaders said it’s about spending money to make money. That’s why they’re pushing state legislators to put more funding into the Visit Mississippi marketing campaign. Tourism leaders said if we’re going to get more visitors interested in a Mississippi vacation, we need a louder voice, and that takes money.  

“Our competitive set has a lot more money that they’re spending,” said Renee Areng, Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau Director. “Whether it’s Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina. They’re spending on marketing their states.”

Areng said, “They can’t come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast if they don’t come to Mississippi, so we’re certainly in support of more marketing dollars for the state of Mississippi.” 

Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said he likes the idea of increasing tourism spending, but cautioned much will depend on making the budget numbers work.

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