Visit Mississippi wins national tourism award

Jackson, Miss. (Sept. 3, 2019) – The U.S. Travel Association awarded Visit Mississippi a Destinations Council’s Mercury Award during the Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations conference held Aug. 20 in Austin, Texas.

The Mercury Awards recognize U.S. Travel destination members for excellence and creative accomplishments in state and territory destination marketing and promotion.

“Mississippi Runs Deep,” a marketing campaign implemented during the state’s bicentennial year, was entered in the special projects campaign category. Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray and Mississippi Tourism Association members attended the awards dinner and presentation and accepted the award on behalf of Visit Mississippi.

“Mississippi’s bicentennial was a unique opportunity to share Mississippi’s story like we never have before,” said Ray. “It is such an honor to receive an award recognizing the hard work and dedication of the state’s tourism industry.”

To increase tourism promotional efforts during the state’s bicentennial year, Jackson-based advertising agency Godwin Group collaborated with Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Tourism Association on the creation and execution of the marketing campaign.

“Mississippi Runs Deep” launched in January 2018 and ran through June 30, the end of Mississippi’s fiscal year. The six-month campaign generated 90,395 visitors, 93,765 room nights booked and more than $54 million in visitor spending. This represented a 21:1 ratio of visitor spending to marketing investment.

With “Runs Deep” as the campaign’s unifying theme, the creative strategy played up Mississippi’s legendary mystique and informed those looking to connect with family and friends that Mississippi offers a wealth of experiences with depth and authenticity.

The winning submission can be seen at

Pictured L to R in attached photo: Marlo Dorsey, Visit Hattiesburg; Rachel Obermeier, Visit Mississippi; Savannah Tirey, Visit Mississippi; Craig Ray, Visit Mississippi; Marlon Ivy, Visit Mississippi; Rickey Thigpen, Visit Jackson; and Karen Conner, Coastal Mississippi.

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