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Changes are making a difference

With another Natchez Fall Pilgrimage in the history books, it’s time to reflect on how the event is morphing — for the better.

For many years, Natchez’s high tourism season offered predominantly house tours with a smattering of night entertainment.

Local tourism leaders realized that changes were needed to liven up the offerings for tourists and that began in earnest several years ago.

The nightly entertainment has been reworked, reformed and in some cases gone away.

In some cases, the house tours have taken on less of a museum walk-through feel and more of an experience for visitors.

Ghost tours and other attractions meant to lure additional visitors have been added. Efforts have been made — and need to continue — to include more of our community’s black history stories as well.

All of those are good and such changing and retooling needs to continue. If we allow dust to settle on our tourism offerings, word will travel quickly and visitors will stop coming.

We need, as a community, to work hard to keep attracting more groups of visitors by offering new reasons to come. That also includes making sure they have all the services they need when they get here, public restrooms, good signage and a clean city are critical.

Following that, Natchez woefully needs additional space for people with young children, a playground and splash pad on or near the bluff would greatly help families with young people have a reason to linger in Natchez a little longer.

Tourism is our biggest industry here and if you live in Natchez — regardless of your occupation — you need to help our tourism economy. Even if it’s just to help keep the town clean and offer a friendly “hello” to visitors, every little bit helps.