Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, the organization that promotes tourism in the three counties of South Mississippi, was named the Tourism Office of the Year at the Southeast Tourism Society Fall Forum on Thursday.
Each year, STS recognizes one destination marketing organization with the Tourism Office of the Year Shining Example Award for budgets exceeding $2 million. Organizations are evaluated on overall performance and accomplishments.
Between June 2015 and May 2016, VMGC established a social media campaign encouraging residents and visitors to share their #MSCoastLife, made over the website and launched a regional hospitality training program called Coast Champions.
The group also developed EatMSCoast.com for culinary tourism and partnered with Google Maps to use the Google Trekker to virtually put the region on the map. The group helped announce a new running fest on the Coast and released the results of studies on visitor perceptions and Coast sports facilities.
“Finding new and unique ways to position the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a destination for the traveler is our gift every day, and we could not be more pleased to share this award and honor with our communities,” said VMGC Executive Director Renée Areng.