Spotlight: JXN Welcome Center
To celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we're highlighting our own JXN Welcome Center's director, Christine Blackmon.
Originally from Canton, Mississippi, Christine Blackmon remembers taking Saturday trips to Jackson with her family as a little girl and admiring all of the local shops and restaurants that lined the streets downtown. Now, with almost thirty years of experience at the Jxn Welcome Center as Director of Services, she is one of many that is breathing life back into the City With Soul.
"I feel like our Welcome Center is the gateway to the city of Jackson," Blackmon said. "Our first responsibility is making tourists feel welcome, and I believe we can do that so well because of how happy our team is here."
Greeting people from Grenada, Mississippi to Germany, and everywhere in between, Christine works to direct visitors to spots that match their preferences and interests and create itineraries that showcase the wide variety of activities to do in Jackson.
"You hear people sometimes say that this or that place is the best-kept secret. Downtown Jackson is really one of the best-kept secrets because nobody knows how much there is to do here and how welcoming the city is. Most of our proprietors live here and have been here for years, or their businesses have been passed down through generations," Blackmon said. "They want to see Jackson boom, and that's one thing that the Welcome Center can set the tone for - is being sure that we convey that heritage that makes Jackson 'The City With Soul,' and that we showcase our true soul for community and family."
Blackmon loves to steer people towards many of the mom-and-pop restaurant institutions in-town, or if they have children in tow, pointing out all of the spots to do free activities outside like the District at Eastover's green space and Mississippi Museum Of Art's public gardens or the new LeFleur's Bluff playground. It's Jackson's people, though, that Christine knows will shine through any visit.
"Hospitality is one of those things that is embedded in us. It's not just something that we say or do," Blackmon said. "I mean, just like in old times, you see a neighbor and whatever they have, they share. Jackson is really like that. Whatever we have, we share. And not just share, but we're going to make sure you're enjoying yourself, too."