Memphis, Mississippi, New Orleans sing similar song to attract t - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Mississippi, New Orleans sing similar song to attract tourists

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Memphis, Mississippi, and New Orleans are working together to attract more Asian tourists.

“If you like golf and music, the truth is, we’re it,” Mississippi Tourism Director Malcolm White told the Memphis Rotary Club. “We play golf in this region twelve months a year and music plays every night. We’re the authentic, original source of America music and Asians know that."

White said representatives of the Memphis-Mississippi-New Orleans Golf and Music Package present the destinations to tour operators in Japan, China, and South Korea, places where golf is booming. The idea is to get Asian visitors to fly into Memphis or New Orleans and visit Mississippi as they travel between the two cities.

“This is how we succeed, White said. “We are successful because of partnerships and we feel an affinity and kinship with Memphis.”

The idea to market Memphis-Mississippi-New Orleans in a united golf and music package sprang from a similar marketing plan that the region has long sold to Europeans. The tourism industry is big business in Mississippi. In fact, White said it is the fourth largest employer in the state.    

Kevin Kane, President of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, introduced White by saying, “I think we’ve got a stronger relationship with the State of Mississippi sometimes than the State of Tennessee.”

White revealed that the relationship between the Memphis CVB and Visit Mississippi is so close, the Memphis agency contracts for Mississippi’s European marketing package.

“We’re incredibly comfortable with that relationship,” White said.

For example, White said European visitors stay in the region for weeks and visit Memphis, the Mississippi Delta, and Natchez.

“They come to explore," White said. “We succeed with this visitor who spends more money, stays longer and often tells our story to their neighbors.”

Both Memphis and Mississippi use musical heritage as a key magnet for visitors. Mississippi has been planting “Blues Trail” historical markers across the state and even around the country to invite visitors to the state. One stands in front of Memphis’ FedEx Forum, naming stars like B.B. King and Rufus Thomas, native Mississippians who were launched to stardom by moving to Memphis.

White expressed pride in the Grammy Museum opening on the campus of Delta State University on November 14, 2015. It will be the second Grammy Museum in the world; the other one being in Los Angeles.

White invited the Memphis Rotary members to visit Mississippi. “This is a key feeder market. You are also our partner and the capital of north Mississippi."

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