Finding right CVB leader important, only first step

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

More than two-dozen people have thrown their hats into the ring to lead Natchez’s tourism effort as director of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The position has traditionally been a rather thankless one, not unlike that of a church’s pastor.

Rarely does someone in the role make friends with everyone involved.

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Like pastors, the Natchez CVB director often must deal with unhappy members of the tourism “congregation.”

That cycle has caused Natchez’s tourism efforts to stumble through the years.

In the words of cartoonist Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Natchez’s own petty disagreements and discontent have been an impediment to tourism growth over the last few decades.

As the city seeks to find a new tourism leader, Natchez has the potential to start anew and cleanse itself of past differences and disagreements.

That process starts with finding a leader for the CVB that possesses both a vision for what Natchez can — and should — become as well as the savvy to work with the existing, diverse groups to help achieve that vision.

A committee aimed at helping vet the candidates for CVB director and find a few of the very best candidates is working hard to find that special person to fill a special and sometimes tough position within the city.

We wish the city luck in the work to find the next CVB visionary, but also encourage the city’s leadership not to stop at simply finding the best leader. The city also needs to peel the complicated onion of agreements and laws that bind and guide the CVB’s operation and oversight.

Everyone — from the stakeholders at tourism businesses in the area to the new CVB director — should feel confident in understanding how the CVB works. That would provide the tourism preacher, the deacons and the congregation a level of confidence and assurance that has been lacking for years.