JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Tourism Association recognized the Hattiesburg Zoo with one of their annual awards at the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Jackson.
The MTA awarded the Travel Attraction of the Year to the Hattiesburg Zoo for becoming a significant tourist draw to its city. In the 2016-2017 year, the zoo saw 22 percent increase in attendance and a 31 percent increase in earned income.
The year's success made the zoo profitable for the first time in the zoo's 68-year history, joining an elite club of only 11 percent of zoos worldwide who do not receive any operating subsidy from the government.
"This recognition is given to our tourism industry leaders who we value for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments," said Nancy Carpenter, 2017-2018 president of MTA. "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."
Conference was held at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson on Sept. 24-26.