Promoting tourism during Picayune Day at Pearl River County Welcome Center
Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 7, 2015
Wednesday, local businesses and organizations populated the Pearl River County Welcome Center to showcase the amenities Picayune has to offer as part of the National Travel and Tourism Week, which began May 2 and runs until May 10.
The nationwide effort aims to promote tourism and the revenue it generates across the country, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s website.
Pearl River County Welcome Center Manager Cindy Poland said the center has been hosting Picayune Day for the past 15 to 20 years.
“Tourism brings revenue into the city and the county and allows tourists the chance to come and see all the different things we have here,” Poland said. “It’s very important for the community to get involved and advertise their business so that we can get more revenue.”
Numerous businesses and organizations were in attendance, including the Picayune Chamber of Commerce, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Sun Roamers RV Resort, local artists and novelists, Picayune Family Care Center, the Gold Wing Road Riders Association local chapter and the Gulf Coast Blacksmith Association.
“We’re out here to promote the hotel industry in Picayune because when business grows the city grows,” said Jessica Clabaugh, director of front office operations at Holiday Inn Express and Suites.
The event took place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. During the event, Paul’s Pastry and Southern Char provided lunch and the center handed out gift bags to tourists.
Local Miss Mississippi Senior Pageant winners Gladys and Bonnie Hughes were also in attendance.
“We’re out here to promote our pageant and show tourists what we’re about,” Bonnie said.
Bonnie won the pageant in 2011 while her mother won the title in 2003.
Outside the center, tourists had the chance to watch metal art being created by Larry House from the Gulf Coast Blacksmith Association and check out motorcycles from the Gold Wing Road Riders Association local chapter.
“We’re really here to make drivers aware of the importance of watching out for motorcycles on the roadways,” said Garland Chadwick, member of the association. In 2008, the association won international chapter of the year.
Poland said more local businesses and organizations participated in this year’s event than in year’s past.