Marketing must go on, shift gears

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

If at first you don’t succeed, you must try, try again.

And come up with a plan B.

It’s time for the Natchez tourism experts to put their heads together and do some creative thinking.

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The $2 per room hotel tax didn’t fly through the Mississippi Legislature like many in Natchez thought it would. In fact, it didn’t even make it onto the Senate floor.

And though there is a small window of opportunity for the bill to see the light of the Capitol windows one more time that seems unlikely at best.

Perhaps the tourism officials know something the rest of us don’t, but one way or the other, it’s time to see some new ideas.

City and convention center tourism leaders have said for months now that they don’t have enough money to adequately market the city.

That may be true.

But if the state says you can’t impose a new tax, then you can’t impose a new tax.

And you can’t stop marketing.

It’s time to crunch the numbers, rally the troops and tackle marketing with a fresh face, tax or no tax.

What if local businesses with a vested interest in tourism pooled their resources to buy an ad in national magazines?

Have we explored every possible type of free marketing?

Let’s encourage citizens to invite friends and family down. Word of mouth, after all, is usually the best word of all.

Can we go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb one more time?

Tourism officials must not get discouraged and halt all progress just because the Senate stopped the tax bill. And unless a magic rabbit comes hopping down Homochitto today, it’s time for plan B.