By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau on Tuesday won the state’s highest award for tourism bureaus.
The Tupelo CVB won the CVB of the Year award in the category of bureaus with budgets of more than $750,000. The award is given annually at the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which wrapped up Tuesday in Tunica.
Tupelo hasn’t won the award in at least eight years, according to Neal McCoy, executive director of the Tupelo CVB. The winners are selected by tourism leaders from another state.
In addition, the Tupelo CVB won a research and action award in the Hills region for its research project with consultant Berkeley Young. The research project resulted in the CVB changing its operation strategy and restructuring its staff and budget.
And, Dick Guyton, who is executive director of the Elvis Presley Birthplace, was inducted into Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Hall of Fame. He was one of four people to receive the honor this year.
Other awards included:
• Tourism achievement award: Hattiesburg Zoo and Hattiesburg CVB
• Tourism promotion of the year: Greenwood CVB
• CVB of the year (less that $250,000 budget): Holly Springs CVB
• CVB of the year ($250,000 to $500,000 budget): Yazoo County CVB
• CVB of the year ($500,000 to $750,000 budget): DeSoto County CVB
• CVB person of the year: Kristie Fairley, Hattiesburg CVB
McCoy said he plans to have a celebration with the staff and the city’s tourism partners in the coming weeks.