CATEGORY: Alcorn County


State travel planner printed in Corinth

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH - A Corinth plant, known for printing "National Geographic" magazine, has put the same kind of quality into printing Mississippi's newest travel planner.

World Color unveiled copies of "The South's Warmest Welcome" Friday during a visit by state Director of Tourism Development Vaughn Stinson.

The tourism department ordered 500,000 copies of what is expected to be one of the state's top tourism recruitment tools. Stinson predicted that a second printing of the 280-page planner will be necessary to keep up with a growing number of tourism inquiries.

High-gloss paper was used for the planners, which are the same size as "National Geographic." Names of the state's top tourism attractions are listed almost invisibly in gray script on the black cover.

Printing costs were $900,000. Planners will cost $2 each including postage, Stinson said.

The state Legislature has budgeted $7.5 million a year for tourism since 1993, when the first tourism budget was $5 million. Mississippi receives about $4 billion in return on that investment, Stinson said.

Tourism is the state's third largest industry, next to health and agriculture, he said.

Last year, the state had more than 800,000 inquiries as a result of advertising, up about 24 percent from the previous year, Stinson said. That number could increase to about a million this year, he said. State records indicate that about 40 percent of the people making inquiries about the state's tourist attractions actually visit the state.

World Color Plant Manager Larry Turner said it was an important opportunity for the Corinth industry to take part in publication of the travel planner.

"National Geographic" has the highest quality magazine in the world, Turner said.

"Now I think we have a Mississippi travel planner that is the highest quality planner for tourists throughout the world," he said.

The color-coded travel planner includes all aspects of tourism in the state, including calendars of events, suggested itineraries and driving routes, welcome-center information, and separate sections on bed and breakfast inns, African-American Heritage and Civil War attractions.

Stinson said only one or two other states in the nation have a planner that compares to the quality of this year's publication, which includes full-color pictures from around the state.

Previously, Mississippi had several informational brochures featuring the different types of sites, events and attractions available in the state.

Corinth Area Tourism Promotion Director Emy Bullard said she believes the state will exceed expectations as a result of the new promotional tool.

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