Springing Into Tourism Season


GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss.(WCBI) – Welcome to Mississippi.

Thousands of visitors are making plans to head our way, drawn to north Mississippi for sports, festivals and the Pilgrimage.

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It’s that time of year again. Spring tourist season, and places like Starkville and Aberdeen aren’t sparing any hospitality.

“Should be a perfect time for the azaleas to be in bloom and we are really looking forward to everyone coming,” said Aberdeen Visitors Bureau Director Tina Robbins.

“We always gear up for a really strong Spring and we love it because we get so many people in,” said Greater Starkville Development Partnership Tourist Director Jennifer Prather.

In the next few weeks several springtime favorite events will take place including NIT and NCAA basketball tournaments and the annual Pilgrimage, which attracts tons of visitors to each place.

Prather says this is a unique opportunity to market and promote the community.

“We really make sure that we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s so that everyone is ready and prepared to put their best foot forward. We do focus on restaurant and retail because that’s the industry that sees the biggest surge when you have weekends like the NCAA tournament and so we do sometimes put together special promotions just to have that extra push to push people into our restaurants and our stores while they are here,” said Prather.

The community works together to come up with a plan of action to handle the up tick in traffic.

“We work with our merchants so that we can make sure with the influx of people that we have enough diners open, extra hours, extra man power, a lot of our civic groups garden clubs do luncheons and other things to kind of facilitate while they are here. A lot of our stores will be open with specials different things antiques shopping is a big thing while folks are here visiting our historic homes,” said Robbins.

“We try and make their experience in Starkville the best one that they can have. They are coming to a new community but we want them to immediately feel right at home. So we are specifically working to put information in our hotels, Starkville Magazines that have maps and lists of where to eat and where to shop and things that they can do while they are here,” said Prather.

Robbins says the town gets to enjoy all their visitors while also receiving a financial boost.

“It’s always an economic boost for us to have our visitors coming in. They stay with us they dine with us they shop with us. Several of them have actually come seen houses and come back and purchase homes and now they are our neighbors here,” said Robbins.

April is Pilgrimage month. Aberdeen’s will begin April 6th Columbus will kick off April 5th.