Laura Beth Strickland elected vice president of Mississippi Tourism Association

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA), the state’s voice of tourism for over 30 years, is pleased to announce its elected board of officers for 2023-2024. Visit Vicksburg’s Executive Director, Laura Beth Strickland, has been selected to serve as the state association’s vice president starting July 1. 

Strickland joined the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB) in November 2009. A Vicksburg native and proud Mississippian, her experience and passion for growing the state’s tourism industry is not only a professional goal, but also a personal goal. As executive director, she serves on countless boards representing Vicksburg including Mississippi Tourism Association, Mississippi Delta Tourism Association, Capital Area Tourism Association and Southeast Tourism Society. 

Strickland graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2008 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Journalism and English with an emphasis in Public Relations, Mass Media and News Reporting. She is a 2004 graduate of St. Aloysius High School. She is married to Michael Strickland, who farms in Vicksburg, at Eagle Lake, in Flora and in Yazoo City. They are parents to May, 6, Michael 5, and twins Hunter and Hadley, 18 months. 

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The MTA Executive Board also includes the following members: 

  • Christy Burns, Executive Director – Visit Corinth: MTA President 
  • Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO – Visit Jackson: President-Elect 
  • Kurt Allen, President & CEO – Mississippi Aquarium: Secretary/Treasurer
  • Chris Chapman, President & CEO – Visit Ridgeland: Past President 

In addition to executive board leadership, the MTA Board of Directors is comprised of three members from five regions throughout the state, as well as three at-large positions. 

“Tourism is a consistent multi-billion-dollar producer for Mississippi, which is a testament to the strength of tourism leaders around the state and state leaders who understand the value of this industry to Mississippi’s economy and invest in its future success. Our membership has done an incredible job of electing a president, executive board leadership team and board of directors that will strategically guide our association as we continue to recover and grow all sectors of tourism. The Mississippi Tourism Association is driven by the support and leadership of our members, and this is an outstanding team to move our organization forward. The time, energy and expertise these volunteer leaders so willingly give is integral to our success and the future of Mississippi tourism,” said Danielle Morgan, MTA Executive Director. 

As the fourth-largest industry in Mississippi, the strategic investments in tourism recovery made by our state and legislative leaders will make a significant impact on Mississippi and our wonderful communities for many years to come,” said MTA President Christy Burns. “Because of this forward-thinking approach, and the strength and resiliency of Mississippi’s tourism industry, 24 million visitors spent $7.1 billion in 2022, exceeding pre-pandemic levels and setting a record for visitor spending. This strong recovery and growth is a direct result of our unified efforts, and it shows that tourism investment provides an incredible return that benefits all Mississippians. I’m honored to be serving as President of the association this year as we continue to unify and develop industry leaders to ensure we continue this momentum to reach new heights as we share Mississippi’s story with the world.