South Mississippi outdoor and tourism leaders want to put the region on the map for nature tourists. As MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, wildlife tourism is already a $2 billion business in the state, and they’re hoping to make it even bigger.
Local outfitters, natural area managers and tourism leaders are getting together to find ways to spread the word about opportunities like this one to enjoy Mississippi’s outdoors. Melissa Scallan is with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, which hosted a nature tourism summit last week.
Cynthia Ramseur, an owner of South Coast Paddling Company and president of Natural Capital Development, says the summit showed the need for a common repository for information about nature tourism.
Ramseur says a smaller taskforce formed during the summit will now look at what steps to take next to help attract more nature tourists, and to connect these tourists with community amenities. She also thinks nature tourism has a role in the larger tourism picture by helping overcome misperceptions about what the state has to offer visitors.
The task force will provide its recommendations on November 1.