We all have jobs to do as tourist ambassadors

Published 10:11 am Friday, July 21, 2017

Nearly every week, I sit down in front of my computer to write a column.

This week, the column is being written 10 hours away from Vicksburg on the south Texas coast. While writing the column each week is a getaway from a normal story or editorial, this time it is a getaway from the kiddos for a few minutes of quiet.

But, the time away from Vicksburg, and spending time as a tourist, has reminded me just how important tourism is for the Corpus Christi and Padre Island economy (where we are spending the week) and Vicksburg’s economy.

As residents of Vicksburg and Warren County, we often times forget thousands of people come to our front door each and every year, getting away for time together, time to relax and getaway.

Those of us not working directly in the service and tourism industries might forget just how many come to Vicksburg each day, each week, each year. But, if it were not for those visitors, and the dollars they spend in our local economy, much of what we have in Vicksburg, and many of the services our city and county are able to provide, would not be possible.

In fact, thanks to Vicksburg’s voters in the June 6 general election, our visitors will be among those carrying the heaviest of burdens in paying for the new sports complex. Each time they stay in one of our hotels, or eat lunch or dinner at one of our city’s amazing restaurants, some of the taxes they pay will help chip away at the more than $20 million bill to construct the complex.

Sales taxes from their visits help fund improved equipment for our first responders, fund additional investments in our roads and infrastructure. And, the money they spend here provides for jobs at attractions, retailers, restaurants and hotels.

It is for these reasons — and so much more — why it is so important we work to provide these visitors with the amenities and guest experiences that makes sure they make visit again, and tell others of the great time they had while in Vicksburg and Warren County.

Some economic reports show tourism in Vicksburg brought in more than $39 million to the local economy in 2016. With so much going on in our community, it would be difficult to believe that number will not be higher in 2017.

Tourism is big business in Vicksburg and Warren County, touching so many parts of our community and economy. And, while we might all have jobs at one place or another — in one sector or another — we are all employees of the visitor experience in Vicksburg.

Let us make sure we do a good job.

Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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