Hattiesburg’s Tourism Industry touted at Annual Summit | Events
The following is a press release from Visit Hattiesburg:
Hosted by VISITHATTIESBURG, Hattiesburg’s Tourism Industry leaders met today for the 11th Annual Tourism Summit at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.
More than 50 tourism partners representing Hattiesburg’s hotels, attractions and local businesses came together to hear about marketing and promotional activities planned to foster the continued growth of the tourism industry both locally and statewide. Preliminary figures for the 2012 fiscal year indicate that more than 21 million tourists visit Mississippi annually, leaving behind 6.1 Billion new dollars. In Hattiesburg alone, visitor spending represented $233 million – an amount that was directly deposited into the local economy. Throughout Mississippi, more than 83,000 Mississippians are employed due to a thriving tourism industry, which translates into 3,950 tourism-related jobs in Hattiesburg’s local economy.
This year’s event was themed around Mississippi’s growing film industry and featured keynote speakers Ward Emling of the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Film Office and Miles Doleac, producer for Historia Films, a local motion picture development company that is currently developing the production details of a feature-length motion picture, tentatively titled The Historian.
The Historian pits two brilliant and troubled professors of different generations against each other in a plot of conflicted ideals. A native of Hattiesburg, Doleac sees the benefits of the film being shot in Hattiesburg as truly substantial. With nearly 100 cast members and crew in town for several weeks, Hattiesburg’s local tourism industry will certainly see the positive effects of occupied hotel rooms, full restaurants and increased general spending.
Rick Taylor, Executive Director of VISITHATTIESBURG, supports Doleac’s endeavor. “The incentives provided by the State of Mississippi combined with USM’s film curricula and shooting venues can set the state for more productions in the future. Miles’ project can be that catalyst. This long-term potential and the short-term economic impact of his project leads us to support and advocate for our community to seize this opportunity.”