Up until just a few years ago, three Destination Marketing Organizations represented the coast of Mississippi, an area the spans a mere 80 miles. In 2011, an effort was initiated to create a single DMO to more efficiently and effectively promote the region with what is today called Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. And, last year, the funding mechanism for all three counties was finally completed.
Indeed, even the best ideas take years to realize. But, now solidly in place and led by DMO diva Renee Areng, the DMO is breaking records and landing such high visibility events as the STS Fall Forum, the International Inbound Tour Operators and Travel South's Domestic Showcase.
While the regional DMO was gaining its footing, community leaders began discussing how to change perceptions of the destination in DC, the Mississippi Statehouse and among residents. "One Coast" was the phrase that emerged. Government and business leaders embraced the moniker and the DMO began to imagine ways to drive the unifying concept home.
And now, the destination has its own License Plate...with proceeds going to the DMO's Foundation.
Cool move, Renee. Wish I could sport one on my ride.