HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) For the tenth consecutive year "Visit Hattiesburg" is celebrating National Tourism week with several activities throughout the week.
Wednesday their annual tourism luncheon was held at the Hattiesburg Train Depot. During the luncheon tourism industry leaders and City officials gathered to celebrate the value of tourism to the community.
More than 20 tourism employees were recognized with the Shining Star Award given each year to those employees who excel at providing Hattiesburg's hallmark hospitality to visitors.
A symbolic check for $225,000,000 was presented to Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree to signify the significance tourism brings to the area.
"Visitors look just like us. You might see them in a restaurant and not realize they come in from the outside," said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of Tourism. "But that money is money that would not have been in Hattiesburg without tourism, without the hospitality that the people we recognized here and all of our community shows that it pays off."
Activities continue through the end of the week including a Community Day at the Visitors Center Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.