Visit Jackson Selected as State ‘DMO of the Year’ For Third Year in a Row

October 24, 2022

Laura Hipp, Craig Ray, Chris Chapman, Jonathan Pettus and Rickey Thigpen pose with an award.
Presenting the award are Mississippi Development Authority Deputy Director, Laura Hipp; Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray; and MTA President and President and CEO of Visit Ridgeland, Chris Chapman. Accepting the award are Visit CMO Jonathan Pettus and Visit Jackson President and CEO Dr. Rickey Thigpen.
Credit: MTA

Visit Jackson took home top honors for the third year in a row at the 2022 Mississippi Tourism Association’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

The agency was recognized as Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) of the Year for budgets over $1,000,000. The accolades recognize in part Visit Jackson’s work for the city’s Bicentennial, advocacy for LGBTQ organizations and events, increased public relations efforts and cooperation and participation with city, county, state and national leaders and organizations.

“This is a first for Visit Jackson and possibly for our state to be recognized as DMO of the Year three years in a row,” said Dr. Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO of Visit Jackson. “We are grateful. As an organization, Visit Jackson works tirelessly to strengthen our destination through the support of our Board of Directors and professionalism and dedication of our staff. That collective ambition creates ripple effects that leave a lasting impact on our tourism product and our local community.”

Visit Jackson also earned the Best Overall Digital Media Award after submitting its newly built website for category consideration. The robust, interactive site – built by Tempest - is filled with stories, listings, photos and maps and was recently recognized by the US Travel Association as a People’s Choice winner. has seen a 446% increase in organic traffic year over year from July 2021 to present and a 930% year over year increase.

“It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate these talented members who work tirelessly for their communities and organizations,” said MTA Executive Director, Danielle Morgan. “These awards are very competitive and that is a testament to the caliber of work being produced by our partners and the overall strength of Mississippi tourism. It is our honor to work together with these outstanding professionals to continue to grow and prosper our industry.”

“The tourism industry in Mississippi is filled with accomplished professionals who have a genuine passion for making their individual communities and state better places to visit, live and work. We honor their tremendous contributions to Mississippi’s fourth-largest industry, and we are grateful for their strong support of Mississippi Tourism Association’s mission to unite all sectors of the tourism industry through advocacy, education, and promotion. We wholeheartedly congratulate all of our award winners for their outstanding accomplishments and wish them continued success,” said Chris Chapman, 2022-2023 president of MTA.

Other Jackson partners receiving awards:

  • 2022 Venue of the Year: Two Mississippi Museums
  • Small Festival of The Year: Mississippi Pickle Fest (MS Ag Museum)
  • MTA Hall of Fame: Pam Junior (Director, Two Mississippi Museums)

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which recognized the impact and accomplishments of the state’s tourism industry, was hosted by Visit Tunica at Horseshoe Casino in Tunica. This annual educational and professional development event brought together around 200 tourism industry professionals from across the state and tourism partners from the surrounding region.

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