Let’s all take part in competing for more tourism dollars for Vicksburg

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Don’t discount the value and significance of fall pilgrimage in Vicksburg.

Three of our city’s many historic houses are on tour for a limited, revived fall pilgrimage this month.

Fall pilgrimage began on Friday, Sept. 22, and continues today through Sunday and from Oct. 5 through Oct. 8.

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Houses participating include The Baer House, Steele Cottage and the McRaven House. The fall pilgrimage tours are a continuation of a similar event held this spring and organized by the Vicksburg Bed and Breakfast Association.

Tourism brings millions of dollars to Vicksburg each year. But our community competes for those dollars with neighbors with antebellum houses and stories of their own tell.

Two such tourists visiting The Baer House last week, said they had come from Natchez, but wanted to see Vicksburg’s battlefield. Their plan was to head back to Natchez to take part in the fall pilgrimage of historic houses there. However, after visiting the city’s visitors’ center and learning about the fall tour of historic houses, they decided to stay in Vicksburg, one said.

“We have been very impressed by Vicksburg,” she said. The number of tourists making trips here is growing, thanks in large part to the increasing number of tourists arriving on one of the five riverboats making routine stops here.

The more we offer tourists while they are in Vicksburg, they more impressed they will be with our community. That relates to longer stays, return visits, favorable word of mouth and increased dollars flowing through our community.

The forming of the city committee to study and make a plan to develop our city’s riverfront is an important step toward impressing more of our city’s visitors. However, we can do things now to make visitors feel welcome. Let’s greet them when they arrive on the boats visiting our area. Let’s give them a comfortable “ride” up the hill and into the downtown area. Let’s come together and make certain entertainment and information is readily available to all who visit here.

Tourism dollars are very real and needed, and we want as many of those dollars to come right here as possible. Let’s make sure what we are offering tops anyplace else they could venture along the Mississippi.