By Sarah Robinson / NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The tourism industry continues to strengthen its case for the benefit that additional investments in the industry could have on Mississippi.
At the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors meeting on Monday, Executive Director Neal McCoy shared a report conducted by the Mississippi Development Authority on tourism spending.
According to the report from the MDA, tourism spending returned $6.46 for every $1 that was invested in 2012.
McCoy said the tourism staff in Tupelo will travel to Jackson to participate in the Mississippi Tourism Association Day at the Capitol today. They plan to meet with lawmakers to stress the importance of new legislation that was introduced to create a new funding mechanism for the state’s tourism industry. Direct travel and tourism account for 3,750 jobs in Lee County and 83,300 jobs statewide.
The MDA report said $616 billion was spent by 21.3 million travelers and tourists to Mississippi in 2012.
Travel and tourism expenditures exceed $245 million in Lee County alone.
Legislation was sent to conference by the Mississippi legislature in February and is currently under review.
The Tupelo CVB also reported sales tax revenue for December 2012 came in at $319,989, 4.2 percent higher than December 2011.