May 9, 2023

NTTW Presser Ceremonial Check
Rickey Thigpen presents a ceremonial check to the City of Jackson's Louis P. Wright, representative of $840 million in economic impact to the city of Jackson in 2023.

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the 40th annual recognition of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, spotlights the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation through the theme, Travel Forward, May 7-14.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, May 9, the capital city's destination organization touted 2022 tourism numbers, including 10.2 million visitors, that prompted $840 million in direct traveler spending.

The 2023 Miss Jackson Hospitality, Jaidyn Elease-Diane Thomas, and Little Miss Jackson Hospitality, Kennedi Gray
, were also introduced. The pair will represent Jackson at ribbon cuttings, festivals, and other events.

Dr. Thigpen also announced a 601JXN DAY. This will be a collective celebration of our capital city, your city, MY CITY, JXN, MS. North. South. East and West. Technically the celebration will be an extended weekend from Thursday, June 1 to Sunday, June 4. See how you can participate at .

"Visit Jackson is again honored to participate in the National Travel & Tourism Week tradition,” said Dr. Rickey Thigpen, President and CEO of Visit Jackson. "This week encourages the tourism industry nationwide to promote the vibrancy and economic benefits that the tourism industry brings to local communities. Each day, the team at Visit Jackson works to share the soul of our destination with domestic and international visitors. Our tourism stakeholders and Jackson tourism assets are some of the bests anywhere. We value it and are committed to furthering collective ambition & opportunity.”

Jackson tourism serves as a catalyst for a productive local economy supporting over 48 thousand jobs in tourism, $33.7 million in tourism payroll, and $19.4 million in total tax revenue in federal, state and local taxes.

Visit Jackson, which also celebrates 40 years in 2023, is offering a slate of events and activities designed to spotlight and celebrate the collective strength of the local and national hospitality industry:

  • Wednesday, May 8 - City With Soul Spotlight Series dubbed "Reunion Chats," offering advice and services to those planning family, collegiate or organizational reunions in Jackson. Join us at the JXN Welcome Center from 9 – 11 am. Registration is required.
  • Friday, May 12 - "It's Your Birthday" at Stewpot Community Services. Visit Jackson staff will serve lunch to community members and celebrate the birthdays of all in attendance (because we all have a birthday)!
  • Saturday, May 13 - "It's Our Birthday!" Celebration at Mississippi Makers Fest from 10 am - until. There will be free cupcakes for the first 100 people at the City With Soul Food Pavilion.

Tourism is the fourth largest industry in Mississippi, generating $7.07 billion in visitor spending in FY22, which shows that tourism is in demand in the hospitality state.

"The travel industry fuels every industry—our industry's success is the nation's success," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. "This week is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America's economy forward."

About the Numbers
Visit Jackson transitioned to utilizing Longwoods Travel USA® in 2021 for accurate and detailed visitor information, a reputable industry-wide practice. The study identifies everything from the number of visitors, where they came from, how much they spent, primary purpose of their trip, length of stay, planning, booking, transportation, accommodations, trip activities, special interests on trip, use of social media, trip satisfaction, detailed demographics, etc. The study also provides a comparison of our destination compared to the U.S. norm.

In years past, we’ve relied on numbers reported from our industry partners.