The Mississippi Tourism Association held it annual spring meeting.

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Meridian, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Tourism Association held its annual spring meeting in Meridian Tuesday.

The MTA is a professional organization made up of representatives from restaurants, hotels, tourism and media across the state. At Tuesday’s luncheon, WTOK's Kate Gibson addressed the crowd, giving a foreigner's perception of Mississippi. She was followed by Destination Marketing Expert Bill Geist.

"I think all of us in the hospitality or travel industry have to tell a better story of the importance of tourism to a quality of life to economic development,” says Destination Marketing Expert, Bill Geist. “We're really good about talking about numbers but that doesn't really get to the human conditioning and how quality of life is enhanced by a tourism economy and I think that's my message today.”

“Networking is definitely part of it. We get to learn from our media representatives and what's the latest in the industry,” says MTA Executive Dede Mogollon. “We get to hear from our counterparts and what's going on in their towns and what they're doing to be successful. It's a great opportunity to learn. "

The spring conference will continue through noon Wednesday for a few more events in Meridian.