Meridian Star

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November 6, 2012

Tourism brainstorming set for next week

MERIDIAN —     Local officials will get together this month to brainstorm about the future of tourism in Lauderdale County.

    DeDe Mogollon, director of Lauderdale Country Tourism Bureau has scheduled a tourism retreat for Nov. 13. Mogollon, who started her job in October, said these retreats have happened in years past to let the Lauderdale County Tourism Commissioners and the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors get together and map out a strategic vision for tourism here.

    She described the meeting as an open educational work session. No decisions will be made, but they will keep notes and use the information to make plans for the future.

    "We can then go back to the office and put together a strategic plan and vision for the department," Mogollon said. "We've met with lots of tourism entities, people who have a vested interest in tourism throughout the community. We will be presenting that to the tourism commissioners and county supervisors as well as feedback that we've received from visiting with tourism offices at the state level."

    Chris Chapman, assistant tourism director for the Mississippi Development Authority will lead the tourism training and there will be a round table discussion where officials can offer ideas on the priorities and goals of the bureau.

    Joe Norwood, president of the Board of Supervisors said he thinks the retreat is a good idea.

    "It's an opportunity to bring in those tourism professionals to make sure that the commission and the board of supervisors understand the purpose of tourism so we don't inject our personal views about whether something is tourism or not," Norwood said. "We need to have a clear understanding."

    The Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau is a branch of county government and is funded through a two and one-half percent occupancy tax on hotel rooms. The Bureau promotes Lauderdale County as a tourist destination.

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