Brown Tourism Signs Installed on I-20
New signs near exit 35 on Interstate 20 mark a milestone in driving tourism and visitors to the City of Clinton. After several years of coordination between the City and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) the vision for a complete wayfinding system to take motorists from Interstate 20 throughout the city has been realized.
Tourism is a big industry in Mississippi and the City of Clinton is working to increase the number of visitors who stay, eat and enjoy our Clinton. Each visitor to the city represents an investment of new dollars into the cash registers of our local businesses, thus benefitting their success and viability. New and returning guests benefit local businesses with additional revenue and strengthen the existing tax base.
Following the completion of the wayfinding signs on major corridors to move motorists from the entrances to the city along Interstate 20, Natchez Trace Parkway, Highway 49, and Highway 80, MDOT installed brown tourist information signs along Interstate 20 directing motorists to Olde Towne Clinton. Once off the interstate, City wayfinding guides them to the Visitor Center and Olde Towne Depot for Visitor information from City staff.
Some may question the importance of the brown signs, but to tourists, they are an important in informing them of points of interest. Throughout the United State, Brown road signs are used for tourist information. The white lettering on a brown background is internationally recognized as information for tourists and can often incorporate a symbol related to the destination that is signed.
Brown signs highlighting tourist facilities can be located on single and dual carriageway ‘A’ roads. Tourist Attractions being the second category may also be located on roadways and can include:
Touring and camping parks
Historic buildings and ruins
Country tours and tourist routes
Whether it is capturing and informing drivers on Interstate 20 or informing potential visitors via targeted digital advertising, the City of Clinton has created the opportunity to grow our tourism services with the desire to strengthen our local businesses through the generation of new dollars from outside the community. Neighboring communities like Ridgeland, Jackson and Pearl continue to generate millions in revenue for local businesses by targeting tourists and short term visitors.
Clinton leaders believe that the unique location of Clinton between Vicksburg and Jackson and on the Natchez Trace affords the City of Clinton the unique opportunity to become the place to stay for Historical Tourism.
Years of preparation invested in revealing our City’s history and the designation of Clinton as a Historic District will start to pay dividends. With the brown signs, wayfinding and billboards placed along the interstate coupled with an advertising strategy utilizing the 1% tourism dollars the city has begun to see increased stays. Check out the landing page for the campaign at www.clintonms.org/clintonhistory.
Advertising the city’s online Historical Tour through traditional and digital mediums coupled with information about staying in Clinton while visiting the Mississippi History Museum, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Vicksburg historical sites will generate additional hotel nights and more restaurant visits.
To encourage visitors staying in Clinton to eat and shop in our local restaurants, the City has created a digital visitor kiosk that has been placed in hotels, visitor center, City Hall and the Olde Towne Depot. The interactive kiosk provides a concierge to help users plan their stay as well as an interactive map with images and descriptions of restaurants, things to do and places to shop. Residents may also access the interactive site by visiting www.VisitClintonMS.org
All of the new tools and advertising have utilized the hotel tax. In addition to creating tools and tours, the City has been advertising in an area from Atlanta to Dallas/St. Louis to New Orleans this year to make Clinton “the place for folks to stop on I-20” Advertising encourages visitors to start their visit at Train Depot, to experience the unique character of Olde Towne and start ClintonHistoicalTour.com showing our 20 Historical markers and taking tourist throughout our community.
Tourism in Mississippi is a multibillion dollar business and the City of Clinton is working to build our local economy by finding ways to compete in the tourism sphere. Utilizing the unique history and beauty of Olde Towne, sports tourism and the events at Mississippi College tourism efforts will provide new revenue sources to support local businesses and the city’s general fund all at not new cost to the local taxpayer.
Each of the efforts is positioning the city of harness the spending power of our visitors by directing them to local businesses for shopping and dining. Rolling out the visitor kiosk and a planning site names Clinton4Now.com will provide necessary tools for visitors to our city to plan their day by providing four (4) suggestions of things to do, shop and dine. All with maps to text or email to their phones for guiding around the city. Information kiosks will provide digital maps to guide visitors to our points of interest, shopping and dining.
Initial reports from the efforts to drive tourism show the May Tourism tax collections, which are the first with the new 1% added, rose from just over $19,000 in 2018 to just over $39,000 in 2019. To date over 8,000 people have used the online historical tour.
Residents are invited to use the new tourism tools as well to learn about our City’s rich history, determine places to dine and support local businesses. VisitClintonMS.org, Clinton4Now.com and ClintonHistoricalTour.com.
Integration of the City website calendar with Mississippi College, CPSD and all departments provide a larger glimpse of the vast opportunities for entertainment and services provided by your city.