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Tourism summit to focus on overcoming challenges

BAY ST. LOUIS – An upcoming conference will offer tips on how rural communities can increase their tourism and thrive during these challenging economic times. 

The fifth annual Regional Tourism Summit of the Miss-Lou Rural Tourism Association can help community leaders, small business owners and tourism professionals identify local opportunities and design creative marketing plans to bring visitors to small, rural areas.

The summit will be held Aug. 10-12 at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Change While Overcoming Challenges.”

“The focus behind the conference is always how regionalism and rural tourism are powerful economic development tools especially in rural areas of Mississippi and Louisiana,” said Rachael Carter, a community-instituted planning specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “This year’s goal is to help communities find ways to meet the challenges of rural tourism whether those challenges are natural, manmade or simply the result of a desire to improve the local area.”

Topics on this year’s agenda include post-Katrina challenges, communication strategies, disability access, music tourism, affordable brochures, and grant writing and funding challenges. Participants also will hear about developing tourism attractions around local history, storytelling and culinary arts.

Visit http://srdc.msstate.edu/misslou to learn more about the summit and for a registration form and lodging information. The cost of registration, which includes association membership dues, is $110 per person by July 9 and $150 after that date.

Registration forms and payment should be mailed to the Miss-Lou Tourism Association, P.O. Box 2180, Natchez, MS 39121. Participants can contact Carter at (662) 325-1793 or carter@agecon.msstate.edu with questions.

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Writer: Linda Breazeale

Released: June 10, 2010
Contact: Rachael Carter, (662) 325-1793