Mississippi is known as the Hospitality State, and Thursday night the City of Jackson says that southern hospitality has helped bring in millions of dollars and jobs.
The Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau honored the best of the best during the 2012 Hometown Hero and SUMMIT Awards (Superlative Merit in Travel and Tourism). Organizers say volunteers, employees, and groups were nominated and selected by their peers for their contributions to the tourism industry in Jackson.
Four people, including Jackson's First Lady Kathy Johnson, were honored for outstanding contribution to enhance the quality of life in the capital city. Twenty-two people were recognized as Hometown Heroes during the ceremony at the Jackson Convention Complex.
"Last year we had over 20,000 jobs in our tourism industry, that's over a $400 million dollar payroll. The people in this room, the ones that we're honoring tonight, helped make that possible. They help keep the tourism dollars coming. We had over 3 million tourists last year come into the city and they spent just under $300 million dollars," said Marika Cackett, manager of Communications and Public Relations for the Jackson Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Wanda Wilson, president and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, also announced the City of Jackson has been awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program or DMAP. Wilson says that distinction will bring even more tourism dollars to the city.
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