Thigpen Named to US Travel Association Board

March 2, 2021

Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen has been named to the national Board of Directors of the U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of U.S. travel.

A Jackson native, Thigpen has served in the Jackson tourism industry for 33 years.

“I am humbled and honored to have been nominated and selected to serve as a member of the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, Thigpen said. “This appointment further solidifies Jackson’s growth as a tourism destination. Additionally, this selection enhances the value of Mississippi tourism through the lens of our national counterparts.”

U.S. Travel’s at-large board directors serve two-year terms and assist the executive team and elected officers in expanding engagement with businesses and organizations. The board helps drive advocacy and shape the future of travel, uniting the industry under one voice, and advance priorities focused on recovery and rebuilding of the U.S. travel industry.

Thigpen has appeared in Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine as one of the most influential African-Americans in the tourism industry multiple times and, in 2020, received their APEX Award. In 2019, Thigpen was named the Mississippi Tourism Association’s Member of the Year, and in 2020, under his leadership, Visit Jackson received Destination Marketing Organization of the Year.

“I am excited to contribute to the policy and advocacy development of one of the most prominent national organizations charged with representing all components of the travel industry,” Thigpen added.

The U.S. tourism industry generates $2.6 trillion in economic output and supports 15.8 million American jobs.

About Visit Jackson

Visit Jackson is the official destination leadership organization for the city of Jackson. The bureau serves Jackson by positively impacting the city’s economy through recruitment and procurement of meetings and tourism activities.

Created in 1983, Visit Jackson acts as a quasi-independent government agency reauthorized by the state legislature and governed by an independently appointed board of directors with members representing the hotel, restaurant, attraction, art, and education sectors.

Media Contact: Kim Lewis – or 601.354.2553 for interviews, statements and story ideas.