Plans are in the works to keep the number of tourists growing. (Photo source: WLOX)

ADAMS COUNTY, MS (WLOX) –

The Gulf Coast is expected to open its doors to a lot of tourists over the next few days for the Labor Day weekend.

Plans are in the works to keep the number of tourists growing.

“1/3 of all the tourist activity of the state of Mississippi is here,” said Visit MS Gulf Coast CEO Milton Segarra.  

If Segarra has his way that margin will get even bigger.

The tourism agency’s 2019 marketing strategy was unveiled during Thursday’s board meeting. Marketing specialist David Crane said a starting point for creating a strategy is figuring out what people want, and he calls those things hot buttons.

The hot buttons include a fun place, a place where people feel comfortable and a place where they would feel welcome with lots of things to see and do. 

“We actually hit a lot of those hot buttons that people are looking for,” Crane said. “Our job is to hit on those out buttons and communicate your story because you have what they’re looking for.” 

According to Crane the bulk of the Coast tourism effort should be focused on attracting more visitors from driving distances where an overwhelming majority already come from. While attracting people within a five-hour radius, Crane thinks there’s an opportunity to capitalize on travelers looking primarily for experiences. 

“We have the ability to expand this market without walking away from the core group of people who have been coming,” said Crane. 

This research and strategy adjustments are leading up to a change in branding expected to be released in the next couple of months. Segarra may have given a hint to what slogan that brand will be built around. It was the signature line of the agency’s creative anthem. 

“When you sign a letter- Love the Coast, it’s talking to you and inviting you to come.”

The marketing plan calls for most of the money on areas within driving distance to be spent on television advertising. 

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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