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This week, the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division and Mississippi Tourism Association presented a host of awards to tourism entities around the state during the 2012 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Held at Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, the awards ceremony showcased the best and brightest tourism organizations, staff members, volunteers and projects from across Mississippi. The award recipients were as follows:

Research-In-Action Awards:

Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Capital/River Region

Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Coastal Region

Greenville-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau, Delta Region

Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hills Region

Lauderdale County Tourism, Pines Region

Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commissions, At-Large

Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau, At-Large

Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, At-Large

Hall of Fame Awards:

Connie Taunton, Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dick Guyton, Tupelo

Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs

Anne Coggins, Tunica

Travel Media Award, Travel Writers: Mary Ann Anderson, Freelance Travel Writer

Travel Media Award, Travel Trade Publication: Bank Travel Management/The Group Travel Leader, Brian Jewell, Associate Editor

Travel Media, Consumer Magazine: “Columbus: Discover a New World”

Community Volunteer of the Year: Jan Pannell, Tupelo

Governmental Friend of Tourism Award: The Honorable William Winter

Tourism Achievement Award: Hattiesburg Zoo

Tourism Promotion of the Year: Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau, “Proud Host to ‘The Help’”

Mississippi Travel Attraction of the Year: Gateway to the Blues Visitors Center, Tunica

Small Festival or Event of the Year: Leland Frog Fest, Leland

Large Festival or Event of the Year: Bay Bridgefest, Bay St. Louis

Mississippi Tourism Association Member of the Year: Kristie Fairley, Deputy Director, Hattiesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Year:

Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau, $0-$249,999 Budget Category

Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, $250,000-$499,000 Budget Category

Desoto County Tourism Association, $500,000 to $749,000 Budget Category

Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, $750,000 and Over Budget Category


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