Natchez tourists spend millions of dollars in 2013
Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014
NATCHEZ — Visitors to Natchez generated an estimated $106 million last year and members of the tourism industry gathered Tuesday to celebrate and recognize the people who helped bring in those dollars.
As part of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted an event Tuesday at the Natchez Convention Center to bring together the employees who promote Natchez on a daily basis, CVB Interim Director Creda Stewart said.
“The tourism industry is so much more than just welcome centers, it’s successful when people gather like this to discuss how to promote Natchez,” Stewart said. “Everybody has to work together, because Natchez is a city that relies on its tourism efforts.”
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Seventeen tables were set up around the room at the convention center where local restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts and other tourism entities offered those in attendance a sample or explanation of their role in Natchez tourism.
The event culminated when a ceremonial check was presented to “Natchez-Adams County Businesses” for $106,686,106.
The amount, Stewart said, was an estimate provided by the Mississippi Development Authority that represents travel and tourism expenditures by visitors in Natchez last year.
“When you start counting all the money visitors spend in Natchez for tourism, it adds up,” Stewart said. “So we wanted to show just how important tourism efforts are for the city.”
Following the check presentation, the annual Natchez Tourism Council’s awards ceremony recognized 15 tourism-related employees, businesses and volunteers.
The awards are a way of thanking all those involved with Natchez tourism, Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Hudson said.
“Tourism is a big business, and we need to take the time to recognize those in the business who have helped us be so successful,” Hudson said. “We want to show each of them a token of appreciation.”
The following people were honored:
-Andrea Cater, Natchez Convention Center
-Christine Tims, Bisland House Bed and Breakfast
-Debbie Cosey, Dunleith Historic Inn
-Dorothy Myles, Carriage House Restaurant
-Jeff Mansell, National Park Service
-John Holyoak, Natchez Trails project
-John Parks, Magnolia Grill
-Nancy Reuther, Monmouth
-Curtis Moroney, Great Mississippi River Balloon Race
-Carol Ann Riley, Riley Creative
-Emily Edwards, Natchez Pilgrimage Tours
-Darrell White, Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture Museum
-Clarence Green, Natchez Convention Center
-Brad Seyfarth, The Castle
-Sally Durkin, Great Mississippi River Balloon Race and CVB
The following events and businesses received the attraction of the year award:
-Natchez Festival of Music
-Slick Ricks Foods
-Natchez Food and Wine Festival
The following attractions received property of the year awards:
The following people who died this year and left an impact on tourism were recipients of the “Gone But Not Forgotten” awards:
-Christina Hall, The Natchez Democrat
-Clarence Brown, National Park Service
Former CVB Director Connie Taunton, who announced her retirement earlier this year, received the Mint Julep Award, which is given to a recent retiree who has impacted tourism.
Across the river, City of Vidalia officials also celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week by presenting the captain of the Queen of the Mississippi with a ceremonial afghan from the city.
City officials will continue celebrations today when members of the Vidalia Police Department stop an out of state car to give them a gift basket from the Vidalia Welcome Center.