While Oxford, Mississippi may be a small town by national standards, the community is doing all it can to keep tourism alive.
For this tourism season, occupancy was 48.9%, a 3.9% increase from last year. Board members were extremely happy about these numbers
“The business is shifting from one hotel to another…to have 85% growth in the slowest month of the year (December) would be, well, a Christmas miracle,” said board member Lance Reed.
During the March 19th meeting of the Oxford Tourism Council, the tourism report, led by council member Mary Allyn Hedges, revealed that Oxford has many plans for this Spring to draw tourists to Oxford.
One exciting project that Katie Kaiser, head of social media, is working on, is a new social media campaign. She has been working vigorously to get information about the city out, on multiple social media platforms.
As reported by Kinney Ferris, board member, the Facebook page has 1,816 likes, as well as their website pulling in 10,609 visitors.
The website has been getting some updates, and trying to reach more viewers. Recently, the pedicab service, Rebel Rickshaw, was added to the tour section on the website.
As well as the social media factors for spreading the word about Oxford, a new monthly talk show, “Tourism Talk,” will start April 10th on station Q93 at nine o’clock.
The tourism council also is sticking to more traditional forms of media to get their story out. Recently, Oxford was shown as a featured destination in Country Living.
“That’s a great publication, really targeted to people who want to visit Oxford,” said board member Nicole Boyd.
Oxford was also featured in the March/April addition of Triple A’s southern travel magazine. That reached 200,000 members residing in the South.
The tourism council also got involved with “Taste of the South,” an event in D.C. While the council will not be attending the event, one which sells 2,000 tickets annually, they were able to send a number of promotional items.
New additions have been brought to Oxford, such as free bus tours of the town.
The Double Decker Festival was also a large part of the meeting. The event has gained a lot of buzz once again. A press conference was just held, attracting 20 to 25 media stations. Also, the use of Facebook and Twitter regarding the event was in the 90th percentile. This possibly has to do with some changes that will be occurring for the festival this year.
This year, there should be many new faces regarding the food vendors. Jensa Sushi is one of the new faces. Most of the vendors are hoping to switch up their styles this year.
Yet, the festival is still in need of volunteers to run it. The tourism council plans on going to the Ole Miss campus to find volunteers. They will soon be talking to IMC and hospitality classes, hoping to gain some help.
Advertisement is still being worked on for the festival however. Currently, there are only advertisements for the event in Delta Magazine. Hedges said that she would look into doing an interview with WDBA radio.
New signage is also being added to various highways, hoping to attract for visitors to Oxford. Oxford is partnering with New Albany, and MDot, to put a new sign on Faulkner scenic highway.
The tourism council went into a fifteen minute executive session, then the meeting was adjourned.