Boards can be effective if they communicate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

How many tourism boards does it take to screw in a lightbulb? OK, it would just be the beginning of a bad joke, but it also illustrates how many private and public councils are beginning to convene to tackle one of Natchez’s biggest industries.

Our instinct is to say let’s hold our carriage horses before all of these advisory councils and boards get too cumbersome and bureaucratic.

But when you look at the distinct role of each particular group, their duties make sense.

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The Convention Promotion Commission &045; commonly known as the CVB board &045; is basically the official marketing arm of our tourism industry.

The chamber of commerce’s Tourism Council, meanwhile, is evolving into a private group of about 25 to 30 leaders in the tourism industry &045; a private group that will work together to share ideas. It’s a tourism chamber of commerce, if you will.

And then there’s the Tourism Management Council, established by the city five years ago. It met a few times and then fizzled out, but it was supposed to enforce the city’s tourism ordinance &045; which includes rules for motorcoaches and carriage drivers. It just began meeting again last week, and we think that’s a good idea. Why have a tourism ordinance if no one is around to enforce it?

All of these tourism groups tell us one important thing: Tourism is an important facet of our economy, and we have to be professional and organized in our approach to marketing the community to potential tourists and conventions.

But so many different groups do run the risk of stepping on each other’s toes. We hope the those in these positions will communicate with each other &045; and stick to their assigned duties.