Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Tanya Ruetzler

Relational Format



Mississippi offers an array of tourism, but what do people who visit the state consider Mississippi has the best of? What are Mississippi’s less known tourism offerings? This study hints that those who are experienced with Mississippi more positively perceive the state as a tourist destination, whereas those who are not familiar with Mississippi’s offerings do not see the state as positively. A Qualtrics survey was conducted for students attending the University of Mississippi in the Lafayette/Oxford asking demographic questions and a survey that measured 16 tourism criteria on a 5 point Likert scale. SPSS 17.0 Independent sample t-tests were run on data collected. Significant differences in 6 of the 16 areas of tourism studied were found. Mean scores showed that the students fi’om Mississippi rated all but one of the six criteria higher than the students not from the state. Criteria rated higher by students from Mississippi: interesting and fiiendly people, suitable accommodations (hotels), great beaches and water sports, attractive casinos, and access to many state and national parks. Students not fi-om Mississippi rated good nightlife and entertainment significantly higher. This study concludes that Mississippi may benefit fi-om more advertising to reach out to those unfamiliar with our tourism destinations. Mississippi should continue highlighting destinations that were rated most positive by participants.



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