Tourism industry veteran Rochelle Hicks has been appointed to take up the role of director of Visit Mississippi by Governor Tate Reeves.
Hicks, who is bringing 25 years of experience in the tourism industry to the position, is set to begin working as the new director on August 14.
“I am excited to welcome Rochelle Hicks as the new director of Visit Mississippi,” Reeves said. “The tourism industry is strong in Mississippi. I’m confident that her decades of experience will be an incredible asset as we continue to grow our tourism industry and promote our state as a top destination for visitors.”
In Fiscal Year 2022, Mississippi’s tourism industry reported having almost 24 million visitors travel in the state. Mississippi also took in $7 billion from tourism during FY2022, with the industry ranking as the fourth largest in the state’s economy.
The Natchez native previously served as executive director of the Mississippi Tourism Association and as deputy director of the Ridgeland Tourism Commission.
Most recently, Hicks was director of advancement initiatives at Canopy Children’s Solutions.
“I appreciate the opportunity to build on the fantastic work Visit Mississippi is doing to grow our state’s visitors,” Hicks stated. “With more than $7 billion spent by tourists in Fiscal Year 2022, the industry carries a significant impact on our economy, and I look forward to promoting the beauty, music, culture, and great food of our state.”
Hicks has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Louisiana. She is a certified travel industry specialist and a graduate of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College.
She follows former Visit Mississippi director Craig Ray, who left the position on June 30, 2022, to pursue other opportunities.