Our hospitality just as important to visitors as that of tourism officials

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tourism has become increasingly synonymous with Vicksburg. We are the Red Carpet City no less.

But as we come to the closing of another summer travel season, it is important to remember that our job — our calling — as a hospitality city truly knows no season; it knows no day off.

If you needed a reminder that our visitors come year-round and our tourism industry remains active all four seasons, all you need to do is look at what is a relatively light schedule in August for the Vicksburg Convention Center and the impact the events bring to our community.

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With only three events on the schedule, the VCC expects to host events bringing in more than 4,000 people. Those events are expected to provide an economic impact for the City of Vicksburg approaching $1 million.

Remember, this is a slow month.

We continue to call on city officials to make further investments in downtown’s infrastructure, further develop the city’s riverfront and press upon the owners of the Portofino Hotel the importance of getting renovation plans moving quickly.

However, all residents of Vicksburg must also remember that it is our collective job that is the most important.

The lack of hospitality local residents and business owners may extend to guests is the one thing that could damage what is increasingly becoming our biggest industry.

We must remember that in many cases, the talented professionals at the convention center or the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau are not the first to meet our guests. Rather, it is those of us who offer a welcoming “hello,” or “welcome to Vicksburg” as we pass our guests at restaurants or gas station parking lots.

The continued success of our tourism industry does not solely rest on the shoulders of our tourism and city officials, but all of us together.