A study released by the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) estimates the benefits of restoring Gulf Coast passenger rail services could generate a total economic output of up to $485,924,479 in Mississippi.
With proposed Amtrak service from New Orleans to Mobile on track to begin in 2022 with stops in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula, Coastal Mississippi is estimated to see an annual tourism spending increase of up to $37,520,300 in Hancock County, $370,551,660 in Harrison County and $33,415,460 in Jackson County. Aspirational scenarios of 1 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent and 20 percent increases in tourism spending were assessed to give decision makers perspective of how strong the impact on our industry could be.
Additionally, the study estimates the restored Gulf Coast passenger rail service could annually provide over 7,000 new tourism jobs to our three coastal counties.
“We are very much looking forward to the introduction of a passenger rail service that would not only connect our 12 coastal communities, but further connect Coastal Mississippi with our neighboring destinations of Mobile and New Orleans,” said Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi. “The proposed rail services would have an immense economic impact on not only our region but the entire state. Coastal Mississippi offers such a variety of unique experiences, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors from our neighboring states.”
View the full USM Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Service Economic Impact Report here.