Tourism on the Mississippi Coast is up, but 2019 looks even more promising. Here’s why.

The coming year looks promising for tourism and, as a result, the Coast economy, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast says. The region’s tourism bureau reports room reservations are up for 2018 and group bookings headed into 2019 are already strong. The group bookings are for business meetings and sports teams visiting places such as the Gulfport Sportsplex.

“We have spoken to several hotels across the region, and have received extremely positive forecasts for 2019,” Milton Segarra, CEO of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, says in a news release. “From what we have heard so far, 2018 seems to have been a positive year for the hotel industry, exceeding budgeted occupancy and revenue, and seeing an increase in results over 2017.”

October room sales were up 27 percent over the previous year, the latest tax figures from the state show. Overall, hotel stays for 2018 are up 16 percent.

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