Charles McCool of McCool Travel Wins Mississippi State Tourism Award

I am honored and proud that this morning, September 24, 2019, Mississippi Tourism Association announced that I won the Travel Media award at the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Coastal Mississippi nominated me and I was selected the overall winner for my contributions in promoting and advancing the state of Mississippi tourism initiatives.

Through McCool Travel and US Gulf Coast Travel, I enjoy working with destinations and brands that are undiscovered gems, off the beaten path, and perhaps not as well known to most consumer travelers. I love the places I have visited and covered, and I receive special satisfaction from knowing that I introduce my audience and their friends of friends to new adventures and travel opportunities.

My Coastal Mississippi articles include Fun Things to Do On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Coastal Mississippi Restaurant Guide, Coastal Mississippi Hotels (plus a dedicated McCool Travel review of Margaritaville Resort Biloxi), and Coastal Mississippi Hidden Gems.

Below is the complete press release announcing the award.

Mississippi Tourism Assoc Travel Media award 2019
Mississippi Tourism Association Travel Media award 2019. Photo by Anna Roy of Coastal Mississippi #SecretCoast


Columbus, Miss. – The Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) recognized the impact and accomplishments of the state’s tourism industry at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus, Miss. on Sept. 22-24, 2019.

This annual educational and professional development event brought together more than 250 tourism industry professionals from across the state as well as tourism partners from the surrounding region.  

The awards program gives MTA the opportunity to recognize the best of the best from their 300+-member organization.  Awards were presented in 15 categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or individual achievement. 

Charles McCool of McCool Travel was honored with the Travel Media award. Ever since his brief visit to Coastal Mississippi for the 2018 Travel South Domestic Showcase, McCool has been dedicated to showcasing the vast array of unique experiences that the Coastal region has to offer. Since his initial visit, McCool has taken the time to visit Coastal Mississippi on four separate press trips, with the goal of uncovering all the hidden gems that the region has to offer.

In true alignment with Coastal Mississippi’s mission to showcase and promote the diverse- and often surprising- offerings throughout the three coastal counties, he has shared his experiences through comprehensive blog articles on McCool Travel, and has shared a plethora of compelling social media posts across all channels that have inspired both visitors and other distinguished travel writers to visit the destination. McCool has also contributed to other travel outlets and consistently includes Coastal Mississippi photos and experiences in an array of Twitter travel chats in which he hosts or participates.

Despite being based in Virginia, Charles’s dedication to the southeast region has not faltered, and his promotion of the area continues to gain momentum with the addition of new digital initiatives. In December 2018, Charles launched a second brand, US Gulf Coast, with the goal of promoting coastal destinations in all five Gulf Coast states. This regional approach aligns with Coastal Mississippi’s initiatives to encourage visitors to extend their stay in the southeast and explore each destination’s unique offerings. 



Coastal Mississippi nominated Charles McCool because of his experience, skills and connections, combined with his unwavering dedication and genuine passion for the destination. 

The CVB noted that McCool never fails to go above and beyond what is expected of him, brings innovative ways to maximize content and collaborate to the table and is always willing to try something new. With a growing portfolio of compelling content for the region and state as a whole, and several impending press trips to destinations across the state of Mississippi, McCool diligently continues to promote the diverse offerings in the state and is a true ambassador for the Mississippi tourism industry.

Charles McCool is an SATW member, a digital travel journalist, and social media fanatic, whose main purpose when working with destinations and travel brands is to increase visits and sales. As a longtime travel skills expert, speaker, author, and trainer, Charles McCool’s articles and travel advice have appeared in hundreds of publications; including Conde Nast, Forbes, Frommers, Orbitz, Reader’s Digest, Smarter Travel, TripAdvisor, and USA Today. McCool was profiled in “World’s Smartest Traveler” and was called “one of the most creative minds in the travel industry.” 

“This recognition should be given to our tourism industry leaders who we value for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments. We are happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our organization but to the entire tourism industry, the state’s fourth largest industry,” said Annette Rand, 2019-2020 president of MTA.

For more information on MTA or Mississippi tourism, visit or  


The Mississippi Tourism Association is an association comprised of tourism professionals established to support and empower Mississippi’s tourism industry through advocacy and education. Membership is open to those in the hospitality industry as well as public service organizations and allied businesses.

glass trophy award
Mississippi Tourism Association award. Photo by Erin Rosetti of Coastal Mississippi #MSCoastLife
Margaritaville Resort Biloxi: Fun Lodging Along the Mississippi Coast was originally published on 7 January 2019 for McCool Travel

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