kids and an adult on a boat in marsh grass

We recently completed a project with Mississippi State University Extension to understand how coastal Mississippi nature-based tourism businesses impact the economy.

What did we learn?

149 businesses generated $186 million in sales for the region last year
285,000+ visitors and 177,000+ locals went to sites that are part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Natural Heritage Area such as the Grand Bay NERR, Pascagoula River Audubon Center, and Crosby Arboretum.
Top nature-based tourism activities are enjoying scenery, fishing, boating, and biking

The project team also asked local nature-based tourism businesses about challenges and barriers to industry growth. They identified social media and marketing, collaboration with other stakeholders, and increased environmental stewardship as key improvements that would help them succeed. This project was funded through our Gulf Star Program.

This project came out of our Human Benefits of Nature cross-team.

Read the full report on the Human Benefits of Nature page under “resources.”