The Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) recognized the impact and accomplishments of the state’s tourism industry at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, Miss. on Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2020.
This annual educational and professional development event brought together more than 120 tourism industry professionals from across the state as well as tourism partners from the surrounding region.
The awards program gives MTA the opportunity to recognize the best of the best from their 200+-member organization. Awards were presented in 15 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.
The MTA Small Festival/Event of the Year Award is presented to a festival or event that is unique and has fewer than 5,000 guests in attendance. This years’s winner was the Starkville Main Street Association for their implementation of Taco Hop.
The event was developed to showcase the town’s culinary entrepreneurial culture while hosting different food and drink-based events each month. Their “Savor Our South” series attracted visitors from across the region and featured community-wide cook-offs, live music and libations in different areas of town. The most popular event in the series combined two perennial favorites: tacos and craft beer.
Guests gathered on Main Street for pork, beef, vegetarian and even ice cream tacos and received branded mini beer mugs with unlimited craft beer tastings. Using local distributors and many Mississippi-made beer selections, the event sold over 2,500 tacos and more importantly spurred interest in shopping with local retailers and increased interest for the culinary and retail scene after the event ended.
“These recognitions should be given to our tourism industry leaders who we value for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments. We are happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our organization but to the entire tourism industry, the state’s fourth largest industry,” said Kelli Davis, 2020-2021 president of MTA.
For more information on MTA or Mississippi tourism, visit www.mstourism.com or www.visitmissisippi.org.
The Mississippi Tourism Association is an association comprised of tourism professionals established to support and empower Mississippi’s tourism industry through advocacy and education. Membership is open to those in the hospitality industry as well as public service organizations and allied businesses.