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COVID-19 has hit Mississippi’s tourism economy hard. Industry relief is critical, and tourism recovery is key to a stronger economic future.

Mississippi is strong. Resilient.

We will be back, and our comeback story will be one for the history books. Together, it's our time to show the world our best is yet to come.

Valued Partners,

Starting Monday, June 1, at 8 a.m., the Safer at Home order will expire, replaced by a Safe Return order by Governor Reeves, set to last until June 15.

With the opening of many casino properties last week and the Memorial Day holiday, Coastal Mississippi was the getaway of choice for residents and visitors alike. We anticipate that this trend will continue, as indicators have consistently shown that travelers are interested in regional destinations they can drive to that offer plenty of room to explore.

According to the most recent travel sentiment study conducted by Longwoods International
  • 48% of American travelers are planning their first trip since the pandemic struck between now and the July 4th holiday weekend 
  • The most popular trip planned during this time frame is a car trip of less than 200 miles to visit family and friends 
  • The impact of the pandemic on future travel is at its lowest level since mid-March 
For these reasons, our team has developed a promise of health and safety with support from regional healthcare authorities. We ask for your commitment to the Coastal Mississippi Promise as you welcome visitors back to The Secret Coast. A comprehensive market re-entry plan has also been developed by our partner advertising agency PETERMAYER, which can be viewed below. 
Coastal Mississippi Launches Coastal Mississippi Promise of Health and Safety

The Coastal Mississippi Promise:

When you visit The Secret Coast, you will be met with warm welcomes and 62 miles of shoreline dotted by unique coastal communities. Here, you can expect excitement and relaxation in equal measure, with plenty of room to roam. You should also expect to see that our hospitality partners are implementing all necessary precautions to protect you, your loved ones, and our industry employees.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Coastal Mississippi has supplied best practices and standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi State Department of Health, and U.S. Travel Association to our industry partners, emphasizing the importance of employee and visitor safety. As partners in the travel and tourism industry, we encourage you to adopt this destination-wide promise. 

We have received support from regional health authorities as we work to ensure the best practices in health and safety are provided to you, our partners. We will continue to share updates with you as our promise unfolds. 

Thank you to our health partners for your support! 

Market Re-Entry Plan 

These last few months we dove into the impact of COVID-19 on travel and Coastal Mississippi. We evaluated the impact COVID-19 had on our region and our organization's response, conducted an analysis of our audiences, and created a data framework. In our findings, there are several factors that influenced our plan to return to the market and they include:
  • Consumer sentiment and intent to travel
  • Readiness of the destination for tourism
  • Input from partners and stakeholders
  • Industry and competitive analysis
Consumer Sentiment:
How they work, spend, celebrate, consume and escape has changed since the crisis has begun. The reopening of local economies has seen some optimistic response from travelers, while other travelers are more cautious, creating two groups emerging out of the crisis – Ready-to-Go (RTG) travelers and Travel Averse. While Travel Averse are in “wait and see” mode as they anticipate how to adjust their plans for the year, RTG travelers are already eager to hit the road and are actively consuming and planning. 

RTG travelers will opt for familiarity and comfort over discovery and adventure in their destinations of choice, looking to connect with family/friends or return to a favorite place while getting a change of scenery. That makes Coastal Mississippi just the type of destination they’ll be looking for with many of the activities they’re eager to engage in. This audience has a number of new needs that a visit to Coastal Mississippi can satisfy – both in solutions and inspiration.
 
With over 60 miles of attractions, towns and shorelines, visitors have the freedom to explore as much (or as little!) as they’d like. Wide-open coastlines and natural spaces provide a comfortable setting to explore without the anxiety of crowds and closed-in attractions. The welcoming nature of the destination and its people can afford visitors the chance to connect and cure their isolation and loneliness. Lastly, our positioning still holds true – a visit to Coastal Mississippi is a chance to relax and reinvigorate, delivering an experience that promises unlimited possibility with the comforts you’d find at home.

There’s a brand opportunity in how we message our destination. Our messaging must not be a hard sell but an invitation to would-be travelers to learn more about how they can plan the trip that’s right for them. There’s a unique experience to be had here that suits the new needs of travelers and resonates in our changed world! 

To view the full plan, please click the button below. 
View the Market Re-Entry Plan Here

We understand that our community is facing new challenges each day, and Coastal Mississippi is here to support our partners in the tourism and hospitality industry in their efforts as we rise up to our challenges together. We thank every single member of this wonderful community for everything they do to make our beautiful Secret Coast so special, and we truly believe that our strong community will emerge from this with an unmatched power to heal and rebuild together. 

We are Coastal Mississippi.

Milton Segarra, CDME
Coastal Mississippi CEO

COVID-19 Business Readiness Resources

Our team has developed helpful resources as you work to ready your place of business when the time is right to reopen. We encourage you to continue leaning on the expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mississippi State Department of Health

The following COVID-19 business readiness resources can be found on our COVID-19 Business Readiness Page:

We hope this information helps in your messaging plan development as we look forward to welcoming visitors back to The Secret Coast, when the time is right.
Access COVID-19 Business Readiness Resources Here
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Our mailing address is:
2350 Beach Blvd., Suite A
Biloxi, MS 39531

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