Tourism effort targets Tupelo diners

TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is trying a new approach this month to drum up tourism.
An effort targeting restaurant diners and hotel customers will be the most visible campaign from the CVB. Sean Johnson, its marketing director, came up with table toppers designed to promote things to do in Tupelo.
While many of the CVB’s outreach programs are geared toward visitors from outside Northeast Mississippi, the table topper program isn’t.
“Most of our (Northeast Mississippi) visitors come here to shop and to eat at Olive Garden and other restaurants,” he said. “The towns surrounding us don’t have the restaurants we have. We are the dining capital of Northeast Mississippi.”
Johnson said he wants to use their time eating out to educate them about attractions in Tupelo. On Tuesday, the CVB put out the first of its table toppers at Vanelli’s on North Gloster Street. More will be added elsewhere in the coming weeks.
The table toppers have three sides, with each having a picture and a description of places, including the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, Brices Crossroads, HealthWorks!, the Tupelo Automobile Museum and the Oren Dunn City Museum.
“They say to ask your server for directions,” Johnson said. “What I’m hoping these table toppers will do is compel our local and regional visitors to check out these attractions.”
The table toppers are free for restaurants and hotels in Tupelo. Johnson said the program is starting small with 750 toppers. If they work as hoped, Johnson said, the CVB can add more attractions as more toppers are printed.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

CARLIE KOLLATH / NEMS Daily Journal