ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT NEWSLETTER June 25, 2013

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Hospitality growth reduces unemployment rate
• Alabama Foodbook receives first place award
• Deadline for Restaurant Week is July 15
• Deadline is July 1 to sign-up for April walking tours
• Deadline for 2014 Vacation Guide & Calendar listings is Aug. 1
• National Geographic GeoTourism project team makes 2nd visit to Alabama
• Tour company representative visits Alabama
• Sign-up for International Showcase in Nashville
• Foundation purchases 3614 Jackson Highway
• U.S. predicts record inbound visitors, as global travel soars
• DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park earns 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award
• Golf resort institutes new Family Fun Days
• Anniston’s 130th birthday celebration
• Washington County Lake will close temporarily on July 8; new lake manager needed
• Remember to vote for Tuscaloosa in Benjamin Moore’s “Paint what matters” contest
• Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism opens Aug. 18, in Huntsville
• Silent Auction to benefit the Alabama industry scholarships
• Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events
• Enterprise ice cream shop makes the Food Network Magazine
• Marshall County names new leader
• Arab Chamber of Commerce is seeking a president
• Outdoor Alabamaaccepting entries for photo contest

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Hospitality growth reduces unemployment rate
by Dawn Kent Azok, al.com, June 21
Alabama’s unemployment rate for May was 6.8 percent, falling slightly from April’s 6.9 percent.
The state’s labor force grew last month by about 3,600 people, while the number of employed people also grew, by more than 6,200. May’s rate represents 147,888 unemployed people, down from 150,401 the previous month, according to numbers issued this morning by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office and the Alabama Department of Labor.

“We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama,” said a statement from Bentley, who recently returned from the Paris Air Show where he and other economic developers met with aerospace companies in hopes of luring more supplier business to the state.

Alabama employers added 7,000 jobs in May. The largest increase was seen in the hospitality industry, at 4,200. That trend is expected to continue throughout the summer as seasonal employers ramp up hiring.

Other gains included professional and business services jobs, up by 1,900.
All metro areas, however, saw unemployment rates inch up from April. Birmingham’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, as was Huntsville’s. Both were 5.2 percent in April.
The jobless rate in Mobile was the highest among state metros in May, at 7.3 percent, while the lowest was in Auburn-Opelika, at 5 percent.

Alabama Foodbook receives first place award
Alabama Food received a first place award at the Alabama Press Association’s statewide competition on Saturday. The colorful 128-page book was produced in cooperation with the Alabama Tourism Department and covers the food scene in the state by geographic region, starting in North Alabama and ending with the Gulf Coast.

The book is based on the popular “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” brochure and emphasizes unique and original Alabama restaurants, the growth of the farm-to- table movement, and native Alabama foods. More than 225 restaurants across the state are featured in the book.
A section profiles food products manufactured in the state. More than two dozen Alabama photographers contributed images for the book. Karim Shamsi-Basha’s photo of Hot and Hot Fish Club’s iconic Tomato Salad is on the book’s cover.

The hardcover book also has sections devoted to farmers markets, u-pick it farms, food festivals, and Alabama wines and craft beers. The book profiles 11 of the state’s award-winning chefs including Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, James Boyce, Chris Lilly, Wesley True, Bob Baumhower, Lucy Buffett, Chris Dupont, James Lewis, Nick Pihakis, and Patricia “Sister” Schubert.

Alabama Food is the official book for the state tourism department’s The Year of Alabama Food promotion. It was created by the Birmingham News for Alabama Media Group and is available at Books-A-Million stores across the state and online at www.bhamstore.com and Amazon.com. Alabama Food can also be purchased at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop and at The Goathill Museum Store inside the Alabama State Capital in Montgomery. The retail price of the book is $20.

Deadline for Restaurant Week is July 15
With fewer than 60 days to the beginning of Alabama Restaurant Week, August 16-24, the list of participating restaurants has increased. Eighty-five restaurants have signed up by going to the www.alabamarestaurantweek.com website. In addition to those eighty-five restaurants, twenty-three restaurants participating in Birmingham Restaurant Week will also participate in the statewide promotion bringing the total to 108 in 31 different cities as of June 24.

The promotion by the Alabama Tourism Department is free to both qualifying restaurants and their customers. Birmingham Restaurant Week charges a small marketing fee.

Cities with one restaurant signed up so far are; Auburn, Bessemer, Centre, Elkmont, Enterprise, Fairhope, Florence, Hammondville, Luverne, Monroeville, Moulton, Pine Hill, Prattville, Rogersville, Spanish Fort, Tanner, Trussville, Tuscumbia and York.

Cities with multiple restaurants participating as of June 24, and the number of restaurants are: Eufaula-2, Point Clear-2, New Market-2, Dothan-3, Decatur-4, Montgomery-4, Troy-6, Mobile-7, Tuscaloosa-7, Gulf Shores/Orange Beach-10 and Huntsville-15.

Grey Brennan, Alabama Tourism Department says, “We have a great start, but are looking for even more restaurants to participate. This Year of Alabama Food promotion encourages new customers to the restaurants by promoting the restaurants’ special fixed price meal offering. Many of last year’s participating restaurants gained exposure and new customers at no costs.”

Chamber and CVB organizations are encouraged to join with the Alabama Tourism Department in reaching out to locally owned restaurants and asking them to sign up before thedeadline, July 15.
For more information, contact Grey Brennan 334-242-4459, grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov

Deadline is July 1 to sign-up for April walking tours
Town interested in participating in the 2014 April Walking Tours should respond with an email giving their town’s name, starting location, and shipping address to
brian.jones@tourism.alabama.gov.

Towns who have already signed-up include: Albertville, Arab, Ashland, Athens, Atmore, Bessemer, Birmingham, Columbia, Columbiana, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Eufaula, Fairhope, Florence, Grant, Heflin, Huntsville, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Mooresville, Phenix City, Prattville, Selma, Sheffield, Sylacauga, Troy, Tuscumbia and Wetumpka.

The hour-long tours will start at 10:00 a.m. each Saturday morning in April. Dates for the 2014 April Walking Tours are April 5, 12, 19 and 26.

“These tours are an excellent way for towns and communities of any size to be involved in a state-wide tourism campaign,” said Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department. “There is no cost to participate and state tourism provides all the posters, brochures and collateral materials. More than 20,000 people have participated in the tours since the beginning of the program ten years ago” he said.

Town interested in participating in the 2014 April Walking Tours should respond with an email giving their town’s name, starting location, and shipping address to brian.jones@tourism.alabama.gov.

Towns who have already signed-up include: Albertville, Arab, Ashland, Athens, Atmore, Bessemer, Birmingham, Columbia, Columbiana, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Eufaula, Fairhope, Florence, Grant, Heflin, Huntsville, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Phenix City, Prattville, Selma, Sheffield, Sylacauga, Troy, Tuscumbia and Wetumpka.

The hour long tours will start at 10:00 a.m. each Saturday morning in April. Dates for the 2014 April Walking Tours are April 5, 12, 19 and 26.

“These tours are an excellent way for towns and communities of any size to be involved in a state-wide tourism campaign,” said Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department. “There is no cost to participate and state tourism provides all the posters, brochures and collateral materials. More than 20,000 people have participated in the tours since the beginning of the program ten years ago” he said.

Deadline for 2014 Vacation Guide & Calendar listings is Aug. 1
It’s that time of year again…time to make sure your accommodation or attraction is up-to-date and listed correctly in Alabama’s official travel and tourism guide—Sweet Home Alabama.
The 2014 Sweet Home Alabama Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events has grown over the years into an impressive, coffee table-style reference book that is both informative and beautiful to flip through.

The well-crafted articles, striking photography and detailed listings make it not only a resource but a pleasure to review. We are proud of how far it has come, and we are excited about this year’s guide being our best yet.

This year, another exciting development has been the creation of an online, electronic database listings update process. Never again will you have to sort through numerous mailings and mail back your listings update or confirmation.

Now, you will be able to follow a few simple steps to confirm, update or add a listing:
• Simply log on to the new website, http://partners.alabama.travel, and either confirm, change or add your listing right then and there.
• Our new online listings process will save you and the state a great deal of time and money. It is much more efficient, and we hope you will appreciate this step we have taken to make this advancement.
• You can review or download the “quick start”guide which walks you through a few easy steps for updating or confirming your existing listing at this site: http://partners.alabama.travel/files/Alabama_Partner_Portal_Quick-Start-Guide.pdf.
• Please take a look at the quick start guide and visit the website to update your listing by August 1.
Updating your listing will take only a few minutes. We hope you appreciate this easy and efficient process!

We look forward to featuring your organization, accommodation, attraction or resource center in the 2014 Sweet Home Alabama Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events.
For any questions, e-mail pam.smith@tourism.alabama.gov or call Pam Smith at 334-353-4541.

National Geographic GeoToursim project team makes 2nd visit to Alabama

Two additional members of the team working on the US Gulf Coast States National Geographic GeoTourism project arrived in Alabama this week for a meeting with various segments of the Alabama tourism industry.

Jim Dion, Sustainable Tourism Program Manager for National Geographic Society, Maps Division and Darienne Mobley of Tourism Builders met with representatives from state, federal and local tourism organizations and held a half-day workshop on the GeoTourism initiative project which is currently underway.

Dion told the group the goal should not be just the number of visitors, but the quality of the tourist’s visit measured in a longer stay and more money spent in the local economy. The aim, Dion said, is to identify, develop, market and sustain authenticity of an area.

As a result of the June 19 meeting, a call was made to establish the Alabama Geotourism Stewardship Council to help guide the overall marketing strategy and sustainability of the U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism in the future.

Attending the meeting in Montgomery were Grey Brennan, Brian Jones and Peggy Collins of the Alabama Tourism Department; Chandra Wright, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism; Kelli Harris and Linda Watson, University of Alabama Campus Museums; Jim Felder, Alabama Scenic River Trail; Maureen Neighbors, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs; Meg Lewis, Montgomery Chamber Tourism; Shirley Baxter, National Parks Service; Ike Lyon, US Army Corps of Engineers Alabama River Lakes; and Phillip Henderson, Alabama Geographic Information Program Office.

Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell also met with both Dion and Mobley.

Earlier this month, Jill Kidder of Tourism Builders and Simon Jones from Solimar visited 8 sites in south Alabama. Both are active members working on the four-state project.

Nominations are being accepted through July 15th for the US Gulf Coast States GeoTourism mapguide and website.

Alabama attractions that are unique, such as local restaurants, wildlife and scenic trails, bed and breakfasts, historic attractions, fishing destinations, museums, artist galleries as well as events are encouraged to self nominate. To nominate your site, go to www.usgulfcoaststatesgeotourism.com

For more information on the US Gulf Coast States National Geographic GeoTourism project, contact Grey Brennan of the Alabama Tourism Department. Grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov or 334-242-4459

Tour company representative visits Alabama
Arlene McJury, contract manager for Virgin Holiday, visited Birmingham and Montgomery on a research trip this past week. McJury arrived in Birmingham on Friday June 21st and met Cynthia McIntosh of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. McJury visited Birmingham’s UpTown and 5 Points Entertainment Districts as well as the city’s Civil Rights District.

In Montgomery, McJury met with Grey Brennan of the Alabama Tourism Department and Meg Lewis of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau for a walking tour of downtown Montgomery. The following day, McJury visited many of the Montgomery’s top attractions. McJury told Brennan that her trip could result in new southern suggested fly drives that would include Alabama.

Virgin Holidays is part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The company has become one of the largest and most successful long-haul scheduled tour operator in the U.K. Virgin Holidays was voted in 2010 as Best Long Haul Operators at the TTG Awards and Best Package Holiday Company Long Haul by the British Travel Awards.

McJury’s visit to Alabama was the result of sales calls by Alabama’s in-market representative Della Tully and visits by McJury to Alabama booths at trade shows.

Sign-up for International Showcase in Nashville
Registration is currently underway for the International Showcase held in Nashville, Dec. 3-6, 2013. This will be the second international show presented by Travel South. Last year the response from both overseas tour companies and Alabama suppliers was great.

Nashville will be an exciting city for the International tour operators, so I think the level and number of companies attending will be even better. In anticipation, this year the showcase will have two full days of appointments instead of just a day and a half. This will allow you to have even more appointments. More than 75 international tour operators from more than a dozen countries around the globe are expected to attend.

Thanks to the large number of Alabama suppliers that signed up last year, Alabama projected a solid image of an area of the south where tourist should and do come to spend their money and have a good time.

Thank you to those that came last year. You know how great the show was. If you didn’t sign up last year, join us this year.

Sign up now. The early bird special pricing that starts as low as $995 for a single seat at a three-seat appointment table ends Aug. 31. For the best appointment results, come with two others from your area and have a unified tourism message. Starting Sept. 1, the price of appointment taking admission will be higher.

To sign up, look at all pricing and regulations, go to: http://travelsouthusa.org/international/default.aspx,
and to download the International Showcase brochure, go to:
http://travelsouthusa.org/!userfiles/showcase/International%20Showcase/IntlShowcase2013_Brochure.pdf

Travel South is expecting that booth space will sell out,so the Alabama Tourism Department suggests destinations, attractions and accommodations register as soon as possible to make sure you can attend.

For more information, contact Liz Bittner at Travel South or
Grey Brennan, Alabama Tourism Department, 334-242-4459, grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov.

Foundation purchases 3614 Jackson Highway
by Russ Corey, TimesDaily.com, June 21
An iconic recording studio that hosted the likes of Cher, The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger and The Black Keys is now in the hands of a group that wants it to become part of a new Muscle Shoals music experience.

Noel Webster, the former owner of 3614 Jackson Highway, the original location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, said Thursday that the studio has been sold to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation.
“We’re happy to have the property,” said Rodney Hall, chairman of the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation. “We think it was a fair deal.”

Hall declined to disclose the selling price.

“Rodney was very gracious,” Webster said. “We got a great deal.”
Hall said the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation wants to renovate the studio to the condition it was in during its heyday, but also upgrade it with modern technology.

It also would be a part of a new Muscle Shoals music exhibit that is in the development stages.
Webster said the foundation purchased the building and some surrounding property that includes a cluster of empty buildings behind the studio.

He purchased the building in 1999 and eventually restored the studio to as close to its original condition as possible, including much of the recording equipment.
The equipment, he said, came with him.
“I left the pictures and the memorabilia in there for them, but none of our historical equipment,” Webster said. “They have a clean slate to start from.”

Many artists recorded in the studio, with the biggest being the blues/rock band The Black Keys, who recorded their Grammy Award-winning 2010 album “Brothers” at the venerable studio.
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was founded in 1969 by “The Swampers,” Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Roger Hawkins and the late Barry Beckett, who had worked as session musicians at Rick Hall’s FAME Recording Studios.

Through the years, some of the biggest stars in music, including Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Boz Skaggs, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded there and at the second location on Alabama Avenue.

The plan being developed by the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation involves creating a partnership with FAME Recording Studios and Cypress Moon Studios, whose Alabama Avenue location in Sheffield was the second site of Muscle Shoals Sound.

The studios would complement the construction of a facility dedicated to showcasing the history of Muscle Shoals music in a Smithsonian-quality series of comprehensive exhibits.

“Now the first leg is done,” Hall said. “We have to raise money to upgrade it to museum quality.”
He wants to utilize the buildings behind the studio, possibly for a museum or gift shop.
Webster cautioned that making too many renovations to the building could affect its status as part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Hall said he approached Webster about purchasing the building about a year ago. Fundraising efforts began in January about the time the “Muscle Shoals” documentary debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.

Hall estimates it could take $75,000-$100,000 to properly equip the studio.
“Eventually, it’s going to need a new roof,” Hall said.

Hall said Huntsville real estate agent Ann Adams Borque was instrumental in helping close the deal.
He also thanked Sheffield resident and attorney Gene Hamby for assisting in finding donors to help the foundation purchase the property.

Hall said a portion of a donation Hamby made to the city of Sheffield several years ago for the creation of a music museum was used for the purchase of the old studio.
http://www.timesdaily.com/news/local/article_127ef32a-da1f-11e2-a98d-10604b9f1ff4.html

U.S. predicts record inbound visitors, as global travel soars
by Maria Lenhart, Travel Market Report, June 17
U.S. Sees Impressive Growth in Visitor Arrivals
Inbound visitor totals to the U.S. are forecast to rise 4% in 2013, surpassing last year’s record-breaking numbers, according to the U.S Dept. of Commerce. Some 69.6 million international visitors are expected to stay one or more nights in the U.S. this year. That growth rate, predicted in the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries’ 2013 Spring Forecast, will be fairly consistent through 2018, when visitors are expected to number 84.6 million – an increase of 26% over 2012.

Visitors from four countries are expected to account for 68% of the projected growth from 2012 through 2018: Canada (30%), China (19%), Mexico (12%) and Brazil (7%). Growth will come from all world regions, ranging from a low for the Caribbean (+1%), to a high for the Middle East (+67%), Asia (+60%), and South America (+52%).

Global Tourism Climbs to New Heights in 2012
International tourism receipts set a new record in 2012, reaching an estimated $1,075 billion worldwide, up 4% from $1,042 billion in 2011, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This growth mirrors a 4% increase in international tourist arrivals globally, which reached 1.035 billion in 2012.

“It is encouraging to see that the growth in international tourist arrivals was equaled by a comparable increase in spending in spite of continued economic challenges,” said UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai. “Considering that tourism is a key export for many economies around the world, this result is good news as it provides foreign reserves to destinations, and contributes to job creation in tourism as well as in related economic sectors.”

By regions, the Americas recorded the largest increase in receipts (up 7%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Africa (+5%) and Europe (+2%). Receipts in the Middle East were still down (-2%) yet showed a steady improvement compared to the decline recorded in 2011.

DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park earns 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award
June 6
Honored as a top performing attraction as reviewed by travelers on the world’s
largest travel site

DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park announced that it received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence,” said Tim Lacy, President at DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of business around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

Golf resort institutes new Family Fun Days
In honor of Family Golf Month, Craft Farms Golf Resort, located in Gulf Shores, is hosting Family Fun Days.
July 15 through July 19, Craft Farms is putting a twist on a traditional round of golf by offering families a fun and innovative approach to playing golf. The Cypress Bend Golf Course at Craft Farms will feature two different size holes on each green. One hole on the green will offer the standard cup size of 4.25 inches in diameter. The second hole, for beginner golfers and children, will feature an 8 inch cup. Craft Farms anticipates that this unique approach to golf will encourage fewer putts, lower scores, and a quicker round of golf, in addition to making the golf experience more enjoyable.
“We’re excited to provide a fun and unique experience for families to play golf,” stated Chad Leonard, General Manager of Craft Farms. “Many families visiting the Gulf Shores area are looking for additional outdoor activities to enjoy with their children while they take a break from the beaches. We feel this approach will encourage more families to play golf and more importantly enjoy their round of golf.”

In addition to Family Fun Days, Craft Farms is offering, throughout the month of July, the special “cart-fee” rate for junior golfers (ages 17 and under) who play with an accompany adult before 1pm or a free round of golf including cart for juniors who play after 1:00 p. m. with an adult.
For more information, visit www.CraftFarms.com or call (251) 968-3002.

Anniston’s 130th birthday celebration
Anniston Museum of Natural History Exhibit: Anniston the First 10 Years -Creating the Model City through Aug. 30. Exhibit is free with regular museum admission.

This special exhibit explores Anniston’s historical roots from the chance meeting of Samuel Noble and General Daniel Tyler in 1872. Ten years later a beautifully crafted town was incorporated in 1883. The museum’s exhibit traces the details of this historical period with displays featuring artifacts from the period.

Contact: Gina Morey Program Director of the Aniston Museum of Natural History, gmorey@annistonmuseum.org, or 256-237-6766.

Washington County Lake will close temporarily on July 8; new lake manager needed
Washington County Public Fishing Lake (also known as Millry Lake or J. Emmett Wood Lake)will be open Thursday through Sunday until July 8, 2013. At that time, the lake will close until a new lake manager can be appointed.

An information packet about becoming the lake manager at Washington County Public Fishing Lake is available by calling the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) at 334-242-3471.

Lake managers are appointed by the WFF to run the daily operations of the 23 lakes in the state lakes program. Lake managers are not employees of the State of Alabama; they receive compensation through the sale of fishing permits and concessions at the lake. Housing is provided for them, but lake managers must use their own equipment to maintain the grounds of the lake and provide concessions for sale.

Remember to vote for Tuscaloosa in Benjamin Moore’s “Paint what matters” contest
Tuscaloosa is the only Alabama city in Benjamin Moore’s “Paint what matters” contest. If they win, Benjamin Moore Paints will help with a revitalization project on their “main street”. You may vote once a day until June 30.
To cast your vote, go to: http://www.paintwhatmatters.com

Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism opens Aug. 18, in Huntsville
Mark your calendars for the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Aug. 17-20, at the Westin Hotel in Huntsville next to Bridge Street with its’ seventy upscale shops, restaurants, movie theater and spa just footsteps away.

Nominations for the Tourism Awards are now open. Please use this link to nominate a tourism professional: http://tourism.alabama.gov/forms/tourism-award-nominations/.
The last day for nominations is June 21.

For information and registration, go to: www.algovernorsconference.com
An Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism Facebook Page has been created. The link to it is http://www.facebook.com/AlabamaGovernorsConferenceOnTourism.  If you have a FB account please “like” the page and “share” it on your page and/or invite your friends to like it.

Make a difference by donating to the AGCT Silent Auction to benefit the Alabama Tourism & Hospitality Industry Scholarship Fund
The Silent Auction held during the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism benefits the Alabama Tourism & Hospitality Industry Scholarship Fund. The AGCT Silent Auction has risen over $202,000 over the past 20 years. Scholarships are awarded annually to students currently working toward degrees in the field of hospitality, tourism, hotel, culinary or food service management. Students enrolled in four-year colleges/universities must be at least a second semester freshman, but no further along than a second semester junior at time of application. Students from two-year colleges must be at least in their second semester of their first year, but no further along than their first semester of their second year at time of application.
To make a Silent Auction Donation please visit: http://www.algovernorsconference.com/silent-auction/. Scholarships will be awarded during the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism, August 17-20 at the Westin Huntsville.
Conference registration, full agenda and hotel reservations are available online at: http://algovernorsconference.com/.

Enterprise ice cream shop makes the Food Network Magazine
Milky Moos Homemade Ice Cream in Enterprise and Troy appears in Food Network Magazine’s July/Aug. issue. They were mentioned for their Boll Weevil Special, a treat that features peanut butter, peanut chips and peanuts. It’s available at both the Enterprise and Troy Milky Moos.

Marshall County names new leader
June 18
The Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Katy Norton president of its organization. Norton, a Guntersville native, has served as the president of the Arab Chamber of Commerce since January 2010. Norton will take over the president’s position at the CVB on July 15.
Under Norton’s leadership, the Arab Chamber has developed a strategic plan and maintained a membership of 320 businesses. She has continued to be a driving force for redevelopment in Arab’s historic downtown and positioned the chamber to serve as an advocate for business growth and development within the city of Arab.

Tim McRae, Chairman of the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, says Norton will bring a vast array of experience and skills to the CVB. “Our search for the right person has been extensive. We know that Marshall County is poised to gain exciting new opportunities from the publicity surrounding the upcoming Bassmaster Classic. Combined with the projected growth in our area due to BRAC, the amazing beauty of our natural resources, and the hospitality and progressive leadership in our communities, we believe there is a tremendous untapped potential for tourism growth here. Katy’s broad experience and professionalism, in concert with her passion to move Marshall County forward will be an enormous asset,” McRae said.

Norton’s first position after moving home to Marshall County was with the AIDS Action Coalition in Huntsville where she served as the Development Director for three years. Her event planning and grant writing experience led to increased funding support for the nonprofit.

Norton serves on the board for Arab Musical Theater and Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association as well as the Arab Electric Cooperative.

Arab Chamber of Commerce is seeking a president
The Arab Chamber of Commerce is seeking a president for the organization. Chamber experience and/or knowledge of marketing and economic development a plus. Send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: susan4design@yahoo.com or mail: The Glenn Group, Attn: Chamber Position, 449 North Main Street, Arab AL 35016. No phone calls please.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events
Aug 4-7 Alabama Motorcoach/Georgia Motorcoach Operators/South Central Motorcoach Association, Birmingham
Aug 17-21 Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism – Huntsville, AL (Westin)
Sept 19 Alabama Mountain Lakes Annual Meeting
Dec. 3-6 International Showcase, Nashville
Feb. 23-26, 2014 Domestic Showcase, Charleston, WV

ATD is currently registering and planning for the following 2014 Consumer Shows:
Cincinnati Boat and Travel Show – Jan 17-19 & January 22-26, 2014
Louisville Boat Show – Jan 22-26, 2014
Indianapolis Boat and RV Show – Feb 14-23, 2014
Nashville Southern Women’s Show – Mar 27-30, 2014

If you are interested in working in the Alabama Tourism Department’s booth, please contact Rosemary Judkins at 334-242-4493 or rosemary.judkins@tourism.alabama.gov

Outdoor Alabama accepting entries for photo contest
Are you a photographer with an eye for natural beauty? If so, then Outdoor Alabama magazine would love to see your photos. The magazine’s 2014 Photo Contest is underway, with photos being accepted through October. Entries must be submitted on a CD-ROM or a DVD and accompanied by an official entry form, which can be downloaded at www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm.

The contest is open to any amateur photographer except employees of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and members of their immediate families. An amateur is defined as someone who does not earn a living from photography. Photographers may enter up to 10 photos, which may be in the same category or spread among different categories.

The categories include: Alabama State Parks, Birds, Mammals, Reptiles/Amphibians/Fish, Other Native Wildlife, Scenic/Pictorial, Nature-Based Activities, Wild Flora, Youth Ages 6-12 and Youth Ages 13-18. The winning entries will be published in the February 2014 issue of Outdoor Alabama and exhibited across the state in several different venues.

According to Outdoor Alabama Editor Kim G. Nix, the key to getting a good photo is a mixture of good technique and selecting subject matter that draws the eye. “People always ask what we’re looking for in a good photo. The first thing I tell them is to make sure the picture is in focus. That’s really the first criteria in our selection—a sharp photo. Next, try to isolate your subject so that bird, plant or person is the main focal point. Compose the photo so there’s not a lot of competing background,” she said.

“This photo contest encourages people to explore the outdoors with their cameras. We’d really like to see more youth involved in the contest. We have special categories for them so they are competing against others the same ages,” she added.

Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 31. For more information, call 800-262-3151, write to Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest, 64 N. Union St., Ste. 106, Montgomery, AL 36130, or email Kim Nix at kim.nix@dcnr.alabama.gov.

To view winners of the 2013 photo contest visit www.outdooralabama.com/photos/oaphotos/13winners/.

The Alabama Tourism Department News is a free electronic newsletter produced by the Alabama Tourism Department. It contains news about the state tourism department and the Alabama tourism industry. The newsletter can also be accessed online by going to: www.tourism.alabama.gov
ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT
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