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Rural tourism conference scheduled for Oct. 28-29
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Individuals involved with tourism development in their communities or those just getting started can learn how to bolster their efforts by attending the Alabama-Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 28-29 at the Holiday Inn in Columbus.
The conference is part of a continuing partnership among the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Tennessee Tombigbee Tourism Association to promote tourism development in Alabama and Mississippi.
Mississippi and Alabama have natural resources and the infrastructures needed to support rural tourism. The conference is designed to help communities use these advantages to identify opportunities and develop marketing strategies that reach potential customers. The conference theme, “Revealing Your Best Kept Secrets,” reflects this philosophy.
“The tourism industry is important to the economies of many rural communities in both states because it is a way for them to capitalize on resources, foster entrepreneurship and increase revenues,” said Extension community and strategic planning associate Rachael Carter of the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics.
Conference speakers include:
- Author, columnist and Hattiesburg restaurant owner Robert St. John;
- Tuscaloosa, Ala., executive chef and restaurant manager Neil Ravenna;
- Mississippi Horse Park director Bricklee Miller;
- Mississippi tourism entrepreneur Tommy Polk;
- Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association representative Mike Cashion;
- Dothan, Ala., Convention and Visitors Bureau president Robert Hendrix; and
- Tuscaloosa, Ala., Convention and Visitors Bureau director Robert Ratliff.
The event also will feature a pre-conference tour of historic Columbus on Oct. 27.
For registration information, contact Agnes Zaiontz at the Tennesse-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority at (662) 328-3286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information, visit the conference Web site at http://almsruraltourism.com, or contact Carter at (662) 325-1793 or email@example.com.
Writer: Patti Drapala