Thursday, October 6, 2011
City receives tourism award
The Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau was presented with the Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Year award for an organization with a budget less than $250,000 by the Mississippi Tourism Association.
The award was given at MTA’s annual awards ceremony for tourism achievement during the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Biloxi on September 26-27.
“We are very excited and honored to receive this award” said Stephanie McKinney, executive director of the Holly Springs Tourism Bureau. “The honor is a tribute to the hard work and support of our board of directors, community leaders, city board of aldermen and everyday citizens that make the town of Holly Springs such a wonderful place to visit.”
The awards program recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of tourism by members of the 450-plus member private sector organization as well as honoring travel media, community volunteers and governmental friends of the industry. Awards were presented in 10 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement.
“We feel it is important to give special recognition to Convention and Visitors Bureaus with smaller budgets for their outstanding accomplishments, and Holly Springs has proven to be a valuable asset to the tourism industry,” said Neal McCoy, director of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau and president of the Mississippi Tourism Association.
The Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau was established in 1999 and is funded by a 2 percent hotel/motel tax and a 2 percent prepared food and beverage tax – of which the bureau receives half. Through those tax dollars, the bureau is working to establish Holly Springs as a vacation destination and has seen a 6 percent increase since the previous year.
“Our primary goal is to bring visitors into our hotels, stores, restaurants and our attractions, and encourage them to spend money in our community,” McKinney said. “We primarily target potential visitors outside of a 100-mile radius – those who will need a place to stay and will hopefully eat at two or three of our restaurants, as opposed to day-trip visitors who will spend less time and money in the community.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to reach that market on limited funds so we have looked into more creative ways, often freeways, to get a little extra attention. We have received great feedback from our new website and just recently launched a new audio tour which is now available on our website.
“We have also established a well followed Facebook page and are working on a self-guided tour of Hill Crest Cemetery. We’ve got lots of exciting things happening and much more to come.”
For more information on the Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau and things to do in Holly Springs, please visit www.visithollysprings.com or give them a call at 888-687-4735.
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