Sun Herald, Biloxi

$2 million COVID grant to help tourism on the Coast

By Mary Perez

Just as the annual Crawfish Festival and other attractions return to South Mississippi, the U.S. Department of Commerce is sending $2 Million in CARES Act Recovery money to boost the tourism economy on the Coast.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Monday announced the grant will go to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, operating as Coastal Mississippi, to create a marketing campaign.

The grant will be matched with $500,000 in local investment to draw tourists back to South Mississippi.

“The coronavirus pandemic has devastated travel this past year, and Mississippi’s tourism industry is suffering,” said U.S. Sen Roger Wicker.

U.S. Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith said the grant “will be used to develop a plan to maximize the appeal of the region as a terrific tourist destination and place to do business.”

The coronavirus impacted casinos, hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions for the past year. 
The 28th annual Crawish Music Festival returns April 14-18 at the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi with midway rides, three days of live country music headliners, vendors and food.

Other upcoming events in South Mississippi:
•    Monster Jam at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi
•    Gulf Coast Beer and Bacon Festival in Gulfport
•    Taste, Rattle and Roll at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport
•    Free Flowin’ Fest in Pascagoula
•    The return of casino entertainment, starting with John Michael Montgomery at IP Casino