History & Mission

Mission of Miss Hospitality

The mission of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant shall be to identify, honor, and utilize young ladies between the ages of 18 and 24 for the purpose of promoting Mississippi’s tourism, industry, and economic development by serving as Mississippi's Goodwill Ambassador.


In 1949, under Governor Fielding Wright and the Mississippi Legislature, the Miss Hospitality Pageant began. The purpose of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant continues to be identifying and presenting young and knowledgeable ladies to help promote the state in tourism and economic development.

In 1986 the legislature voted to discontinue the pageant. The Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce asked for and received the sponsorship. The pageant was incorporated in 1987, and remained in Starkville for 10 years. In 1997, the Starkville Board of Directors began searching for another city to serve as the State Pageant’s new location. Hattiesburg petitioned for and received the sponsorship in December 1997.

The Pageant is presented by the Hattiesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Hattiesburg, and the University of Southern Mississippi. During the pageant week, contestants are provided with opportunities to polish their public speaking and interview skills, as well as their poise and interpersonal relations among fellow contestants, judges, and pageant officials.

Mississippi Miss Hospitality represents the state through the Mississippi Development Authority and makes countless appearances throughout Mississippi during her reign.