Clarksdale and Tourism
Tourism is a growth industry, world-wide, especially with regard to cultural tourism, which is now a feature of the downtown economy. The importance of tourism is reflected in growth in visitor numbers and associated spending, and the support provided to a wide range of local businesses and jobs. This growth also provides the underlying impetus for the restoration of vacant and run-down commercial premises in the downtown.
In Clarksdale’s case, growth in tourism is closely aligned with the town’s indelible connection with Delta blues and culture, combined with Southern hospitality. Clarksdale is, after all, the location of the fabled “Crossroads”, as popularised by Robert Johnson and his “‘meeting” with the Devil.
Much of the economic and physical regeneration of Downtown Clarksdale in recent years has been achieved though the efforts of “creative people” whose significant contributions to downtown revitalisation—through cultural tourism—continue today.