• 66°

Stimulus could help tourism

If open for business signs are displayed in local shop windows and there are no tourists to see them are the shops really open?

It is not a secret that the travel and tourism industry across the globe took a huge hit during the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Natchez market is no exception.

Even as visitors from Jackson, Baton Rouge begin to trickle into our area for weekends and holidays, the local tourism industry relies on planned events to attract larger crowds to enjoy our famous hospitality.

How to attract such crowds during a worldwide pandemic is the million dollar riddle that local officials hope to solve.

Wednesday, the Natchez Convention and Promotion Commission unveiled a tourism economic recovery stimulus program toward the development of future COVID-19 friendly events. Designed to support the creation of events and programs that will support the local tourism community, the program will provide financial assistance and marketing support for creative tourism ideas that aim to encourage travel to Natchez and the surrounding region.

“We are excited to see what types of experiences the community presents,” NCPC Executive Director Jennifer Ogden Combs said about the new program.

As Combs pointed out, Natchez is already an easy place to come to for a socially distant getaway — with its many outdoor attractions, al fresco dining and bed & breakfast properties.

NCPC officials should be commended for the establishment of the stimulus program.

Now, all the local tourism industry needs is a few creative solutions to the current tourism riddle.

With a little financial backing and marketing support, your creative idea could help revive the local tourism economy.