Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on October 10, 2014. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
MS-AL conference aims to build rural tourism
GREENWOOD -- A conference planned to better equip economic development officials to promote rural tourism opportunities has an educational lineup worthy of a festival.
The Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference will be Oct. 20-22 in Greenwood.
In addition to workshops, the conference includes a mystery tour, Delta-style catfish dinner and tailgate party at the Alluvian Hotel. Other planned activities include trolley rides, a performance from Mississippi Valley State’s Marching Band in recognition of sports tourism, and a cooking demonstration from LeeAnn Fleming, a food stylist from the movie “The Help.”
The Mississippi State University Extension Service, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Mississippi Main Street Association and Mississippi Development Authority Division of Tourism are part of a long list of sponsors and partners in this outreach program.
Rachael Carter, a specialist with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development, said the conference will allow participants to learn techniques and trends in the tourism industry.
“This conference is designed for anyone interested in growing tourism in their areas and helping small towns with community and economic development,” Carter said. “Experts will speak on building a brand, downtown revitalization, music tourism, creating small-town festivals and sports tourism in small towns.”
Recognizing that tourism is a vital part of a community’s economic development, the Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference is a collaborative effort focused on helping small communities bolster tourism. This annual conference is hosted alternately by Mississippi and Alabama.
“We are so excited to host the Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference in Greenwood, Mississippi,” said Tonja Ray-Smith, executive director of the Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are pulling all stops for the preconference tour, as well as the opening reception, which will be held at the Historic Elk’s Lodge in downtown Greenwood.”
Register for the conference, find the agenda and get more information at http://www.almsruraltourism.com.