GULFPORT — The crowd applauded and even cheered when the new tourism slogan and brand for South Mississippi was announced Monday after a year of research and testing.
Now it’s time to stop working on the brand and let it start working for the Coast, said Richard Chenoweth, chairman of the Coastal Mississippi board, formerly Visit MS Gulf Coast. He called the launch “such a pivotal moment” for the Coast as a tourist destination.
Most people at the unveiling said they approved of “Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast.” Some were underwhelmed by the choice of slogan and said “It’s OK” and “We’ll see how it goes.”
Forty billboards touting the slogan will be will be placed in locations within a five-hour drive, including Louisiana and Alabama, according to the Associated Press.
Facebook also had mixed comments. One person said, “Scratching my head in confusion.. I don’t get it. What’s so secret about us?” He said the Coast once was third in the nation for casino revenue. The Seawolves won the Kelly Cup and the Shuckers were featured on ESPN during their epic road trip. Robin Roberts is from the Pass and the commenter said she made sure everyone knew it after Hurricane Katrina. And Jimmy Buffet is from Pascagoula and writes songs about the Coast.
Another person said, “That land mass between New Orleans and Mobile really is a secret place. I’m torn between keeping it our little secret and letting people know so they can enjoy it, too.”
Search the internet for Coastal Mississippi and it shows the area isn’t all that well-known by potential visitors.
“What is there to do in Biloxi besides gamble?” is one of the frequently asked questions, according to Feedback.
“This might be one of the most underrated stretches of coastline in America,” the Matador Network said in a 2017 article in conjunction with Visit MS Gulf Coast.
Vogue magazine reported in 2017, “The Mississippi Gulf Coast is lesser known as a tourist destination, but it’s slowly becoming a hotbed for art, music, and style.”
For the original version of this story from The (Biloxi) Sun Herald, click here.