All of us are on tourism’s payroll

Published 6:46 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

The weather and the end of school have done what the calendar has not done yet; mark the beginning of summer.

While the summer travel season will kick off with the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, travel and tourism for Vicksburg is more than a seasonal affair.

According to the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, nearly 1-in-5 jobs in Vicksburg is connected to the hospitality industry, directly serving those millions of visitors who come each year to visit.

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And, in that same information, the VCVB reports two million visitors came to Vicksburg in 2018, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, hotels in Vicksburg saw an increase of 5 percent in occupancy year-over-year.

In short, tourism in Vicksburg is big business.

But, in there is one number we take slight exception with. While it is reported almost 20 percent are connected in someway to the hospitality business, we believe that number to be far, far higher.

While a hospitality business might be classified as a hotel and the like, businesses such as drug stores, convenience stores, auto repair shops, etc. play just as an important role in the tourism and hospitality industry as anything else.

When visitors come to Vicksburg, they don’t just go to those shops and stores that are solely connected to their visit. They often go to other businesses and rely on plenty of other services during their stay.

The way we as residents interact with each other and those we do not know; those who are regular customers and those who are not; goes a long way to build the overall image our community has with not only each other, but with those who are visiting.

If we are not our community’s biggest cheerleaders, then how can we expect those who are visiting to appreciate what we have to offer.

Tourism is big business in Vicksburg and Warren County; so big that all of us are on the payroll.