City With Soul celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
On May 21, Visit Jackson presented Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba with a 9 figure check during a press conference at Smith Park in downtown Jackson. The check represents the total number of expenditures from visitors in 2023. (Advocate photo: Joshua Martin)

JANS – On May 21, the City With Soul celebrated the 41st annual National Travel & Tourism Week in downtown Jackson at Smith Park. The honorable Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba attended the event.

Visit Jackson took on two themes: Travel is Essential and Visit Mississippi’s theme this year, Outdoor Adventure.

Visit Jackson’s Director of External Affairs, Partnerships and Alliances, Yolanda Clay-Moore welcomed the attendees and celebrated those in the industry who faithfully devote their time and talents to the tourism and hospitality industry, touting their efforts to keep the City With Soul strong and vibrant.

Visit Jackson President & CEO Dr. Rickey Thigpen boasted that Mississippi’s capital city welcomed 9.8 million visitors who yielded $0.9 billion in expenditures, a 4.5% increase from last year, and that 8,700 people in Hinds County were employed in the Leisure and Hospitality Industry, earning $45.7 million in taxable income.

He also shared the uptick in international travelers, sporting and religious events. He cited two pieces of business Visit Jackson has secured: Destinations International 2025 Inclusion/Business Operation Summit with 300 attendees, over 500 overnight rooms, and $317,743.68 in estimated economic impact; and the 2024 USA Track & Field Olympic Southern Regional with 2300 attendees, over 700 room nights and $2.279 million in estimated economic impact.

“Travel & tourism is the heart of the American economy and is essential to our nation’s vitality and continued growth,” said Dr. Thigpen. “We are essential! As an industry, we continue to recover from a global pandemic; now our negative media stories regarding water, infrastructure issues, and public safety considerations are used as a case study establishing destination best practices because of our resiliency and recovery.”

Mayor Lumumba praised the Visit Jackson team for accepting his 52-week tourism strategy to grow opportunities and create more revenue in the city, which benefits the people who live in and create this city every day. Mayor Lumumba also issued a proclamation in Jackson claiming May 19-25 as National Travel & Tourism Week.

“When I welcome people into the city, I invite them to go to our amazing restaurants, the Two Mississippi Museums, and I tell them about the great hospitality of the people of Jackson, and I say that I hope that you love our city so much that you’ll grow roots and you’ll want to stay, but even if you don’t, please just leave your money.”

David Pharr, co-founder of the Museum Trail effort and board member of the Jackson Heart Foundation, a primary sponsor of the trail, spoke about the inception of the Museum Trail, which started with a conversation in 2009 in the parking lot at the Chamber of Commerce, emphasizing quality of life and economic development. They were familiar with multi-use trails in other cities but unfamiliar with how powerful they have become. The Museum Trail team researched other trails, including the Longleaf Trace in Hattiesburg, and the power of a trail soon became evident by their log of visitors from 100 countries in Longleaf’s second year of being open.

“After researching other trails, tourism became a strong value that we were trying to pursue,” said Pharr. “Research also showed an increase in exercise, so where the trail goes, people get healthier. University studies have also proven that people pay an average of $9,000 more for properties within a mile of a trail.”

Republish This Story

Copy and Paste the below text.

City With Soul celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week

By Jackson Advocate News Service
June 3, 2024