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State of tourism discussed at annual summit Monday

 

By Gene Coleman

NATCHEZ—Visit Natchez and the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission held a conference Monday to talk about digital marketing and to share ideas on promoting the city.

Lance Harris, NCPC president and chairman, said $293,000 in funding is anticipated for 2019.

A portion of the NCPC’s budget comes from a 1.5-percent food and beverage tax and a 3-percent hotel tax, Harris said. Harris also said he would like to see much of that spent on marketing.

Harris said a likely source to draw more tourists to Natchez is from surrounding cities.

“We identified key market areas based on destinations that are close enough to drive from but far enough that they need to stay the night: Dallas, Houston, Birmingham,” Harris said.

As for age, Harris said that’s where Natchez has such a broad attraction.

“We have a lot of interest from millennials. That’s the great thing about Natchez is we have such a wide variety of attractions,” Harris said.

Jennifer Combs, executive director for Visit Natchez and the NCPC, said the focus for 2019 will be on digital marketing.

Guests from Advance Travel & Tourism shared insight on the topic and a representative from the Lou Hammond Group gave a presentation on social media.

Combs said the conference was a great success and that more such meetings are needed.

“This is what we wanted, for people to start thinking and sharing ideas,” Combs said.

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