by Jessi Minneci | June 27, 2019
Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, the destination marketing organization for the state's Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties, has gotten a makeover. In an effort to put greater emphasis on the region's waterfront allure, the organization will now be known as

Coastal Mississippi, a title that debuted alongside a new marketing campaign aimed at the growing number of travelers craving a shoreside getaway. 

"Coastal Mississippi speaks to who we are and what we offer as a region," said the organization's CEO, Milton Segarra, CDME. "Coast is the place where the water meets the land, but coastal encompasses the beaches, the water and the land beyond." 

The Southernmost counties of the state feature 44 miles of coastline, dotted with water-based activities like fishing and boating; a variety of natural reserves; small villages, and ample entertainment options. 

"Guests are amazed at the beauty and variety of the region and often remark, 'I didn't know all of this was here!'" added Segarra. "We love sharing that experience with visitors. It's a secret made all the richer by sharing it."

In 2017, some 13.5 million people visited the three counties, according to the organization. During that year, the market saw an 11 percent increase in arrivals and departures at its Gulfport airport, as well as increases across the board in rooms sold, occupancy and occupancy tax receipts.
 
More than 500 new hotel beds will grace the destination by the end of 2019. Biloxi's Margaritaville Resort, for example, will undergo a $200 million expansion this year that includes the addition of 160 new guest rooms, 60,000 square feet of new meeting space, an on-site amusement park and more dining options.