International fans return to the king of rock and roll birthplace

TUPELO,Miss. (WCBI)- The birthplace of the king of rock and roll is once again welcoming international fans. This comes after travel restrictions are lifted for people traveling to the United States from other countries.

Although Grace Whitaker and her husband have visited Elvis’ birthplace ten or so times, she says it’s always refreshing to come back.

“We love Tupelo, the people here are so nice, and so welcoming, you feel like you’re family, to us,” said Whittaker.

The Whitakers are part of an Elvis tour group led by David Wade, who owns “Strictly Elvis UK.”

Wade began bringing Elvis fans from Great Britain to the U S in 1972 , to see Presley in concert. After the singer’s death in 1977, the tours continued, as fans were brought to the states to see key places in Elvis’ life and career. He says the birthplace has been a fan favorite since the tours began.

“Friendship, professionalism, they fact they are looking after the legend, the heritage of Elvis Presley, in a really nice way,” said Wade.

Grace Whitaker and her husband are planning to return to Tupelo in two years on another of Wade’s tours. She says part of Elvis’ continued popularity is his well known rags to riches story.

“He was so humble, he never said, “I’m better than anybody else, he knew his beginnings, and he stood by that, values and connection with his fans,” said Whittaker.

It’s estimated that Elvis’ birthplace and museum brings in a million dollars in taxes and other revenue to the city each year. International tour groups have been and will continue to be a big part of that equation.

Large crowds are expected at the birthplace on January eighth, for what would have been Elvis’ 87th birthday.

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