More than one dozen employees in Hattiesburg's hospitality industry were recognized for their outstanding service during an annual event hosted by the VISIT HATTIESBURG organization.
Seventeen employees, mostly from Hub City hotels, were presented with Shining Star Awards at the 12th Tourism Partners Luncheon at the Hattiesburg Train Depot.
The event is held in conjunction with National Tourism Week. Organizers say tourism has a $247 million impact on the local economy. The theme for the week is "Hospitality...Worth it's Weight in Gold."
Other activities related to National Tourism Week include a Community Day at the Hattiesburg Visitors Center Friday from 11 a.m. To 1 p.m. That event, featuring food and live entertainment, is free and open to the public.