The 2008 Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Summit will be held Aug. 12-14 at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center in Vicksburg, Miss. The summit will focus on ways to enhance and create tourism resources in rural areas. The targeted area consists of 16 Louisiana parishes and 17 Mississippi counties bordering the two states or located near the Mississippi River.

Community leaders are seeking sustainable economic development by diversifying the traditional agriculture-based region while promoting tourism and other amenities, said Cynthia Pilcher, LSU AgCenter community economic development agent.

The conference will provide community and tourism leaders with skills needed to identify resources, create attractions and market rural tourism in the region, Pilcher said.

A tour of local attractions on Aug. 12 will be followed by two days of sessions on heritage and cultural tourism, swamp tours, corn mazes and the value of parks and public lands to rural tourism.

The summit will conclude with the annual meeting of the Miss-Lou Rural Tourism Association Aug. 14.

To register, contact Weslynn Willliams at the Natchez Convention Center at (888) 475-9144 or (601) 442-5880. Registration forms also are available online at http://srdc.msstate.edu/misslou/.

The registration fee is $100. Checks may be sent to the Natchez Convention and Tourist Bureau, 211 Main St., Natchez, MS 39120.