City does not need to keep study on shelf

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

On Tuesday, New Orleans-based consultant Stu Barash made a brief presentation to aldermen of a study in which he recommended changes to the way Natchez markets itself to tourists.

Barash’s key recommendations included:

4Funding tourism marketing at much higher levels, including funds for a professionally-made advertising campaign.

Email newsletter signup

4Using Natchez’s attractions and strengths to develop events to attract tourists during the current off-seasons.

4Restructuring the Convention and Visitors Bureau, clarifying job descriptions while adding staff to be in charge of now-neglected areas of tourism.

Whether you agree with the findings of Barash’s study &045;&045; a report commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Council &045;&045; or not, one thing’s clear: The city doesn’t need to simply put this study on a shelf.

We understand city officials have already talked about many of the issues raised in Barash’s report, showing they’re thinking ahead.

They need to keep the ball rolling, however, by scheduling a meeting as soon as possible to go over the findings in more detail and decide what their plan of action &045;&045; and sources of funding &045;&045; will be.

Public hearings also need to be held on the matter to gather innovative ideas from citizens on how to address these issues.

Given the importance of tourism to the economy of the Natchez area, one of the worst things the city could do is simply leave the study’s findings unaddressed.