By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
Stephanie Moody-Coomer was hired this year as the marketing director for the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is the tourism arm for the city.
She previously worked for ReidRejebian, an advertising company that oversees the CVB’s marketing account.
She talked with business reporter Carlie Kollath about Tupelo tourism and the impact she expects to see this summer.
Q: What’s our area’s tourism outlook for this summer?
A: The summer months are traditionally a really good time for travel to Tupelo. While climbing gas prices are a concern for vacationers, the prices have still not reached the record levels from last summer and I think they will be less of a factor in decision-making this year. People still seem to be looking for closer destinations but are venturing further out and the staycation trend is not as strong as it was. Also, youth sports travel is strong during the next few months and parents and extended families will always travel to support their children.
Q: You’ve recently started using Twitter for the CVB. Why and what’s been the response?
A: We’ve been using Twitter for a couple of weeks and we really like the instant element it brings to our program of work. Our target market is getting more technologically advanced and they expect us to keep up with them. Our addition of Twitter and Facebook (Tupelo CVB) to the marketing mix is part of the way we are doing that. The response has been good and it has come in very handy to keep media informed during our event season. Follow us @VisitTupelo.
Q: Our region is in the middle of its festival season, with the Tupelo Elvis Festival kicking off Friday. Are people attending the events and spending money despite the recession?
A: We’ve seen a really strong turnout for all of our festivals, despite inclement weather. The upcoming Elvis Presley Festival has had a great response to their ticketed Elvis venue and the people purchasing that ticket tend to be a traveling guest who is overnighting in Tupelo’s hotels and eating in the restaurants. The economy will effect what people spend but our products are quality and a great value for the money.