Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Summit Set for Aug. 7-9 In Vidalia

Dr. Cynthia F. Pilcher, Van Osdell, Mary Ann  |  6/2/2007 12:50:27 AM

News Release Distributed 06/01/07

The second annual 2007 Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Summit will be Aug. 7-9 at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center, according to Dr. Cynthia Pilcher, LSU AgCenter community economic development agent.

The summit will focus on ways to enhance tourism in rural areas in the region, which consists of 16 parishes in Louisiana and 17 counties in Mississippi located along the Mississippi River or near the state borders, Pilcher said.

Other partners in the summit are the City of Vidalia, Louisiana Office of Tourism; Mississippi Development Authority, Division of Tourism; Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau; Vidalia Conference and Convention Center; Mississippi State University Extension Service and Southern Rural Development Center.

β€œThe 2007 summit will provide information on what rural communities can do to promote their assets, amenities and resources,” Pilcher said.

The conference – with the theme Home Grown or Grow Your Own – will provide community and tourism leaders with the skills needed to identify resources, create attractions and market rural tourism in the region, Pilcher said.

The program begins on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 2 p.m. with Remelle Farrar of the Texas Prairie Rivers Association and Bob Rogers of Texas Parks & Wildlife.

The morning session on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Frogmore Plantation includes: Organizing Nature Trails by Adam Rohnke, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and Diversifying Existing Attractions by Lynette Tanner from Frogmore Plantation. Lunch will be served at the Delta Music Museum.

The afternoon session at the Winter Quarters Historic Site in St. Joseph includes: Developing Historic Attractions by Kathleen Jenkins, National Park Service, Natchez; and Developing Musical and Cultural Attractions by Alex Thomas, Mississippi Division of Tourism.

Topics on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the convention center include Web site development by Rae Montgomery, University of Minnesota Extension Service, and Phil Hardwick, coordinator of capacity development, Stennis Institute of Government, Mississippi State University.

The inaugural meeting of the Miss-Lou Rural Tourism Association will also be held, Pilcher said.

Registration is $75 before July 10. Contact the Natchez Convention and Tourist Bureau, 211 Main St., Natchez, Miss. 39120, for more information, or call (888) 475-9144. To view a detailed agenda, visit the conference Web site at http://srdc.msstate.edu/misslou.

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Contact: Cynthia Pilcher at (318) 435-7551 or (318) 649-2663, or cpilcher@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell at (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or mvanosdell@agcenter.lsu.edu

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