Tourism Tuesdays June 2, 2015

  • Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman Harper Collins’ most pre-ordered book
  • Alabama Tourism Department hosts marketplace for local vendors
  • Travel South International Committee meets
  • Alabama destinations encouraged to look to IPW 2016 in New Orleans
  • Huntsville’s Cotton Row tops USA Today‘s Best Southern Fine Dining
  • Downtown Visitor Center earns TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
  • Alabama Bass Trail unveils new specialty tags 
  • Muscle Shoals Horns albums get re-release
  • Birmingham’s most popular tourist attractions
  • The Barbecue Bucket List
  • Alabama products were honored in 2015 Southern Living Food Awards
  • State Tourism Director and State Parks Director appear on Montgomery television Sunday
  • Smither to retire from Birmingham CVB
  • John Oros named Birmingham CVB president
  • Foley’s Don Staley honored by National Association of Sports Commissions
  • Davis joins USS Alabama staff
  • Mobile app for Creek Heritage Trail available
  • Nominations are open for the 2015 Tourism Awards
  • Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants
  • Alabama Makers
  • 2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event deadlines
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman Harper Collins’ most pre-ordered book
By Amber Sutton,, June 2

“Go Set a Watchman,” Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” sequel, is now the most pre-ordered book by publisher Harper Collins, according to The Guardian.

With a publishing date of July 14, “Go Set a Watchman” is set 20 years after “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and tells of Scout revisiting Maycomb, and all of the characters fans have come to love, as an adult. The sequel is Lee’s first new novel in more than 50 years.

“Go Set a Watchman” was made available for pre-order through national retailers as Barnes and Nobles, Amazon as well as Books-A-Million in February. Hardcover copies may be ordered at most bookstores for $16.79 while eBook versions vary in price.

While Robert Thomson, chief executive of Harper Collins parent company News Corp, declined to make any sales predictions for the book, he said that he expects it to be a “big book” thanks to fans of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“I’ve read it,” said Thomson, according to The Guardian. “It’s a fascinating, captivating, important book. … You get a sense of the character development as Harper Lee imagined it in the beginning. It is quite an interesting structure.”

To read this article online, go to:


Alabama Tourism Department hosts marketplace for local vendors

The Alabama Tourism Department will assist local vendors with getting their goods sold at gift shops across the state when it hosts the Alabama Makers Marketplace this Thursday in Montgomery.

“This is a great opportunity to bring producers of Alabama made goods together with gift shop managers,” said marketplace coordinator Leigh Cross with the state tourism department.  “Travelers are always looking for things that are authentic and represent our state. We want to make sure that the gift shops at our top tourist attractions feature items from companies that are producing goods and creating jobs here in Alabama.”

The Alabama Makers Marketplace is 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thur., June 4, in the exhibit hall of the RSA Activity Center at 201 Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery.  The event is open to the public.

Some 30 vendors have registered for the marketplace including: Berdeaux’s Vintage Sauces, Wetumpka; Caha Bones, Vestavia; Carrie’s Kitchen, Huntsville; Dayspring, Gallant; Earthborn Studios, Leeds; Eastaboga Bee Company, Lincoln; Emma Jane Designs, Auburn; Fairhope Soy Candle Company, Fairhope; Fox Point Farm, Kellyton; Hot Damn Jelly, Auburn; Iron City Trading, Huntsville; Jala Jala Foods, Huntsville; Kudzu Kreationz, Arley.

Left Hand Soap Company, Tuscaloosa; Lindsey Farms, Pike Road; Magnolia Belle Designs, Leeds; Priester’s Pecans, Ft. Deposit; Regina K’s Cobblers, Leighton; Re-Invention, Montgomery; Stately Made, Vestavia; To Your Health Sprouted Flour, Fitzpatrick; Todd Farms, Headland; Wickles Pickles, Dadeville; Willow Island Artist, Shelby; Candye Lundy Pottery, Columbiana; Jeffery Long Designs, Alexander City; G Mommas, Selma; Piper & Leaf Gardens, Huntsville.

Travel South International Committee meets

The Travel South International Committee is holding their annual meeting at the IPW tourism show this week in Orlando.  During the meeting at the Orlando Convention Center, representatives from twelve Travel South State Tourism Departments reviewed last year’s efforts and proposed a plan of action for the next 12 months.  Grey Brennan attended the meeting representing Alabama Tourism.

The committee was told preliminary data indicated 2014 was a good year for the states within the Travel South region.  Individual state numbers will be available in August for a fee. Also in August, region wide figures will be released during the ESTO meeting.

During the meeting, Travel South will present the committee with a copy of promotional material used at several international showcases and encourage each state to produce material in Portuguese and French for distribution at selected tourism events. An example of the success of the Global Partners Programming was also circulated which featured Australian tour company Creative Holidays’ brochure with a listing on page 79 of “Top 4 Deep South Road Trips.” One of the road trips travels through Alabama and has a stop in Birmingham.

The committee heard that Travel South will again encourage states to coordinate efforts with Brand USA, especially in the area of the Discover America inspiration guide and websites – including Discover America’s Chinese translated site.

An update on the Travel South International Showcase shows that 23 supplier tables have already
been sold out of the maximum 90 to be sold for the showcase held shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.  Travel South says they expect to be sold out before the “early-bird” special rate ends on September 1.

The recruitment for international tour operators to attend the show is going well, with only top tour operators being invited to attend.

The committee’s recommendations will be presented to the Travel South Board of Directors for approval.

For Alabama destination marketing organizations, hotels, or attractions who would like to attend the Travel South International Showcase or have their translated information distributed in selected foreign tourism shows, contact

Alabama destinations encouraged to look to IPW 2016 in New Orleans

Even as several Alabama tourism officials gather in Orlando for IPW and appointments with tour operators and journalists from around the world, Alabama destinations, hotels and attractions are encouraged to look ahead to next year when the event will be held in New Orleans in June 2016.

“For many destinations that have had good results at the Travel South International Showcase, 2016 would be an excellent time to add IPW to their show list as it will be ‘in our backyard’, said Grey Brennan of the Alabama Tourism Department.  “Having this large international tourism showcase so close to Alabama is a once in a decade event.”

In recent years IPW has been held in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orlando.
Travel South and tourism officials from New Orleans encourage the tourism destinations in the region to develop plans now for an expected increase in request from journalist and tour operators for visits around the time of the New Orleans IPW show.

Brennan said tourism destinations should develop a coordinated plan. “Many of those who attend the IPW show take the opportunity to research nearby destinations.   Now is the time to plan for and encourage top international tour operators and journalists visit to Alabama,” said Brennan.

For more on IPW and Alabama’s efforts in the international market, contract:

Huntsville’s Cotton Row tops USA Today‘s Best Southern Fine Dining
By Lucy Berry,, May 29

The results are in for USA Today’s Best Southern Fine Dining restaurants poll.

Cotton Row, founded by Chef James Boyce, was the top pick among readers this month in a contest on 10best.comHighlands Bar & Grill and Hot and Hot Fish Club, both Birmingham establishments, landed in the
Top 10 among 20 nominees selected by Southern travel experts.

Tuscaloosa’s Dreamland Bar-B-Que recently landed at No. 8 on USA Today’s list of the 10 Best Southern BBQ restaurants.

To read this entire article online, go to:

Other Alabama winners are in the USA TODAY‘s Readers’ Choice 10Best Best Historic Southern Attraction category.  Those are #4 Edmund Pettus Bridge and #8 Dexter Parsonage Museum.

To see the full list, go to:

Downtown Visitor Center earns TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center recognized for outstanding reviews

The Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center has been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for “consistently receiving outstanding traveler reviews on”

“We’re honored to receive this award from TripAdvisor – the number one travel website in the world,” said CVB President/CEO Judy Ryals. “Our Visitor Center is the first stop, the welcome mat, if you will, for many visitors to our community. We constantly strive to put our best foot forward to show visitors all there is to do and experience.

We want to make sure they have an easy decision when it comes to deciding to make a return trip and recommending our community to others.”

The Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center, located at 500 Church Street in downtown Huntsville, is open seven days a week, including many holidays, and is staffed by Visitor Information Assistants. The goal of the Visitor Center is to enhance the visitor experience by providing information, assistance and a warm welcome to visitors.

The Huntsville/Madison County CVB also operates a visitor center at the Huntsville International Airport and recently announced upgrades to its Visitor Information Kiosk there.

Ryals also congratulated local attractions, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville Botanical Garden, U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum, Madison County Nature Trail – Green Mountain, Harmony Park Safari, Monte Sano State Park, Von Braun Center, Big Spring International Park, Burritt on the Mountain and the Huntsville Museum of Art for receiving the Certificate of Excellence.

“Our job is made easy by our outstanding attraction, hotel, restaurant and tourism partners who offer extraordinary value and opportunity to visitors,” Ryals said. “We have the distinct honor of telling their story, and the Rocket City’s, every day.”

The Certificate of Excellence celebrates the accommodations, attractions and eateries that make great trips possible.

To read this article online, go to:

For more information, contact Jessica Carlton, Huntsville/Madison County CVB Marketing Manager at 256.551.2294 or

Alabama Bass Trail unveils new specialty tags

Anglers can now show their passion for Alabama fishing while supporting the state’s only fishing trail. The new Alabama Bass Trail specialty license plate will be available for pre-order beginning June 1, 2015, at and cost $50 in addition to normal tag registration fees.

Featuring the Alabama Bass Trail’s logo, colors and tagline “Now You’re Hooked,” the Alabama Bass Trail plate was approved by the Legislative Oversight Committee and has a goal of selling 1,000 plates from June 1, 2015 to May 30, 2016.

Motorists can purchase the new plate at There is a $50 annual tag fee plus applicable ad valorem tax and local issuance fees. If tags are not due, supporters may reserve a license plate, which will guarantee to receive one of the first tags that are printed. Supporters of the Alabama Bass Trail, who wish to purchase a pre-commitment for the specialty license plate, may visit, complete the online commitment to purchase application and pay the $50 additional fee. Applicants will continue to use their current, valid Alabama license plate.

The Alabama Bass Trail will receive a portion of the $50 annual tag fee to boost funding to the state’s only fresh water fishing promotion. According to Alabama Bass Trail Program Director Kay Donaldson, “The funds from the purchase of the specialty tag will go to continue promoting Alabama as a year-round fishing destination and providing a number of conservation and education opportunities for student anglers and other groups.”

For more information, call Alabama Bass Trail Program Director Kay Donaldson at 855.934.7425 or visit

Muscle Shoals Horns albums get re-release
By Robert Palmer,, May 27

Music fans might not have known who the horn players were on some of the biggest hits of the 1970s and 1980s, but if they were watching the soul charts, they might have gotten a hint.

The Muscle Shoals Horns came together in 1971 as a freelance studio session aggregation that soon found its way to the charts as artists in their own right.

They released three albums between session work, and scored a big hit with “Born To Get Down.” Those albums, long out of print, are being re-released on CD.

The original group will reunite at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Visitor Center in McFarland Park to celebrate.

The nucleus of the group — Harrison Calloway, Harvey Thompson and Ronnie Eades — had been working under contract for Rick Hall at his FAME Recording Studios. They were part of the Fame Gang, which took over rhythm section and other musical duties after David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett left to open Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in 1969.

“I said, Ronnie, why don’t we start a thing called the Muscle Shoals Horns,” Calloway said. The contract with FAME had expired, and there were other studios in the Muscle Shoals area that needed horn players, he said.
They soon found themselves in high demand — and in need of a fourth member.

“I was told there was a guy in college in Kentucky, Charles Rose, who lived in Sheffield,” Calloway said. “I was tired of doubling up on horns on sessions. We could do one pass and be through with the song, so I invited him to join us on trombone.”

Rose was home from college recuperating from a car crash in 1971. He joined another horn section while home, but was soon called by Jimmy Johnson to play on a Jim Capaldi session at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
“After that, they started calling me for sessions with the horns,” Rose said. “I was still in college for another two years and coming home for sessions.”

The section’s reputation grew quickly and they soon were recording with the Staple Singers, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Joe Tex, Delbert McClinton, Joe Cocker, the Oak Ridge Boys, Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Seger, Paul Simon and Phish. They also toured with Elton John, recording a live duo with Elton and John Lennon of the Beatles hit “I Saw Her Standing There” in 1974. Rose said that was Lennon’s last live performance.
They also found time to record three albums — “Born To Get Down” in 1976, “Doin’ It To the Bone” in 1977, and “Shine On” in 1983. All three are being re-released by Funky Town Grooves Records.

Calloway, an arranger and composer as well as a trumpet player, moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1982 where he went to work for Malaco Records. He wrote the arrangements for Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue,” and Z.Z. Hill’s “Down Home Blues.”

Saturday’s event is free to the public, and CDs will be available for purchase.

To read this article online, go to:

Birmingham’s most popular tourist attractions
By Dan Bagwell, Birmingham Business Journal, May 27

Tourist sites in the Magic City are drawing some pretty impressive crowds, according to data from our most recent List.

For our newest Tourist Attractions List, we reached out to the Alabama Tourism Department and site representatives to find out which tourist attractions drew the largest crowds in 2014. The numbers are encouraging for the local tourism industry, as 76 percent of the sites on our List showed higher attendance rates in 2014 compared to the previous year.

Railroad Park jumped three ranks from our last List to earn the top spot on our ranking with an estimated 600,000 visitors last year. The park has played a critical role in Birmingham’s downtown renaissance. USA TODAY recently named Railroad Park one of the 10 best U.S. parks that helped revive their city.

Birmingham Zoo, the previous List leader, fell to second place despite increasing attendance by more than 400 visitors from 2013. The Zoo has some big projects of its own in the works that are expected to boost attendance.

The top 5 local tourist attractions ranked by 2014 attendance are #1 Railroad Park- 600,000, #2 Birmingham Zoo- 574,581, #3 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail- 568,427, #4 Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park- 535,565, #5 Birmingham Barons Baseball- 437,612.  Some figures are estimates provided by site representatives.

To read the entire article, go to:

The Barbecue Bucket List
Garden & Gun Magazine, June/July

Everyone has a favorite place for barbecue, and we couldn’t possibly list all the worthy spots out there. But these fifty joints below the Mason-Dixon line, which serve everything from pork to beef to mutton to mullet, are all worth any serious barbecue lover’s time.

Archibald’s BBQ
Established: 1962
In the same smoke-stained cinderblock building where his grandfather cooked fifty years ago, Tray Archibald glazes ribs with a tangy, rust-colored barbecue sauce. 205-345-6861

Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q
Established: 1925
Big Bob Gibson invented white barbecue sauce at the backyard predecessor to his first brick-and-mortar restaurant. Nowadays, it’s slathered on smoked chicken all over Alabama.

Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Vestavia Hills
Established: 1984
The pork and beef are fine, but the chicken is the main attraction—a tender, crisp-skinned testament to Alabama-style barbecue, best with plenty of white sauce. 205-967-6004

Saw’s BBQ
Established: 2009
It’s a young joint helmed by a classically trained chef, but the smoky atmosphere and no-frills ribs, pulled pork, and chicken are timeless.

To read the entire article, go to:

Alabama products were honored in 2015 Southern Living Food Awards
By Lucy Berry,, May 22

Several Alabama-made products, from tea to beer vinegar, were recognized recently during the 2015 Southern Living Food Awards.

Members of the test kitchen at Southern Living taste-tasted more than 300 products over three days to determine this year’s winners and runners-up.

Here are the Alabama honorees:

To read this entire article, go to:

State Tourism Director and State Parks Director appear on Montgomery television Sunday

State tourism director Lee Sentell and state parks director Greg Lein will appear on “Your Community This Week” broadcast on Montgomery television station WNCF-ABC 32 at 9 a.m. Sun., June 7.  They will be discussing the summer travel season and will have an update on Alabama State Parks.

Smither to retire from Birmingham CVB
A 50-year veteran of the meetings industry is stepping down.

Jim Smither remembers when he jumped at the opportunity to finally make $500 a month.  He was working and selling cattle in Crystal City, Texas, in 1964 when his brother told him about a sales job as convention manager at the McAllen (Texas) Chamber of Commerce.

“I told my brother I didn’t know the first thing about selling conventions, and I didn’t own a suit.  I knew a salesman had to wear a suit,” Smither recalls.  “My brother said, ‘Jim, selling is selling; if you can sell cows, you can sell conventions,’ and he lent me one of his suits for the interview.  I got the job.”

That was more than 50 years ago when Smither had his first taste of the hospitality industry, and he’s been hooked ever since.  Now a near-legendary career is coming to a close when Smither retires as president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.  CVB Board Chairman Bill Murray made the announcement today.

Smither joined the Birmingham CVB as president in 1993.  Prior to joining the Birmingham bureau, he served for 12 years as executive director of the Lexington CVB.  His long and distinguished career in the industry includes the position of executive director of the Baltimore Convention Center and director of sales with the Houston Convention & Visitors Council.

During his 17 years in Birmingham, Smither has enhanced the visibility and image of the city through major national ad campaigns and extensive public relations programs.  He also has been closely involved with national and international meeting associations, including the Destination Marketing Association International, serving on the board of directors and in other leadership capacities.

But when asked what he’s most proud of in his storied career, Smither points to the longevity of employment among his current staff.

“The average length of employment for a member of the Birmingham CVB staff is 17 years,” he said.  “You can imagine the knowledge and experience that comes with working in this industry that long.  It’s amazing really, and it’s of enormous benefit to our customers.”

Smither, a master storyteller, plans to spend the days ahead playing golf and enjoying his wide circle of friends.
“I might even give away all my suits,” he said, chuckling, “And start wearing boots again.”

John Oros named Birmingham CVB president
Memphis CVB Executive to Head Birmingham Bureau

Joseph “John” Oros has been selected to succeed Jim Smither as president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Bill Murray, chairman of the Birmingham CVB board of directors, made the announcement today.

Oros, who assumes his new position Aug. 1, is currently chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, overseeing a staff of 24 convention sales, convention services, sports sales and tourism professionals.

Smither is retiring after more than 21 years as head of the Birmingham CVB and after more than 50 years in the hospitality industry.

Board chairman Murray said, “The board knew it would be difficult to fill the shoes of one of the best CVB presidents in the country, so we undertook a national search to calibrate our candidates against the best and brightest in and out of the industry.”

“The CVB board worked hard to interview the candidates and choose the best fit for the organization, and John Oros is that person,” Murray said.

According to Murray, Oros plans to further expand the convention sales and tourism marketing programs of the Birmingham CVB as the region continues to grow and the downtown area continues its renaissance.  Oros will supervise the day-to-day operations of the 40-person CVB staff and will work closely with management and staff of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, along with the entire hotel community in Jefferson County.

And Oros has his sights set beyond domestic confines.  “I feel international tourism is a big opportunity for Birmingham,” he said.

“I am excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the veteran team at the Birmingham CVB,” Oros said.  “I have competed against these professionals constantly over the years, and they have earned my respect as well as the respect of other destination marketing organizations around the country.”

Oros said he will challenge the staff to create new ways to market Birmingham in the changing landscape of convention and tourism sales.

Foley’s Don Staley honored by National Association of Sports Commissions
By Jay Sowers, GulfCoastNewsToday, May 1

The National Association of Sports Commissions recently honored the top individuals and organizations in the business of sports marketing, and one of those honored was Foley’s own Don Staley.

The NASC honored three industry professionals with awards; Sports Tourism Executive of the Year: Don Staley, ‎Executive Director, Foley Sports Tourism Complex; Game Changer Award: Tammy Dunn, CSEE, Sports Marketing Manager, Snohomish County Sports Commission; and Sports Event Organizer of the Year: RB Thomas, Jr., Executive Director, International Senior Softball Association.

The NASC, the governing body of the $8.96 billion sports events industry, honored 11 individuals and organizations for their leadership and creativity in attracting and marketing sports events this week.
Staley said he was surprised and humbled to receive the award.

“I was completely taken back by the award,” Staley said Friday. “It is the highest honor that can be given in our profession so it means a lot to me. This award tells us, and everybody watching, that we are doing a good job promoting this venue.”

While he was the lone recipient of the award, Staley said it belongs to several others.

“This isn’t just an award for me,” Staley said. “This is an award for what I call Team Foley. That’s everybody who has a hand in this project. My co-workers, the mayor, the city council and all the stakeholders. This is a win for all of us.”

As the only trade association for the sports tourism industry, the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), and sports event owners. The NASC is committed to the success of nearly 650 member organizations and 1,600 sports event professionals. Our promise is to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members – sports destinations, sports event owners, and suppliers to the industry – and to protect the integrity of the sports tourism industry.

To read this entire article, go to:

Davis joins USS Alabama staff

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is pleased to announce that Rhonda P. Davis has joined the staff as the director of sales and marketing.   Davis comes to us from a three year stint as executive director of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society and brings with her marketing and public relations experience coupled with a solid background in historic preservation, fundraising and community service.

“We are absolutely delighted to have a person of Rhonda’s talent and ability join our Battleship staff as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of Battleship Park opening this year,” stated Bill Tunnell, Executive Director.

Davis currently serves as vice president of the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, and is a member of the Governor’s Mansion Authority and the Barton Academy Foundation.  She is a nationally certified Main Street Manager and has a long-standing history of community volunteerism.  Davis is a previous Miss USS ALABAMA.

Mobile app for Creek Heritage Trail available

The Historic Chattahoochee Commission (HCC) is pleased to announce that a mobile app, for the Alabama sites on the Creek Heritage Trail, is now available for download. The app includes links, captions and mapping capabilities. It can be downloaded via the Google Play Store on
Droid and the Apple iPhone free.

Collaborative partnerships with the Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Association and other organizations throughout the lower Chattahoochee Valley have made the development of this new heritage tourism resource possible. It focuses on the causes and consequences of the Creek War of 1813, the opening phases of the Seminole War, the Creek War of 1836 and Creek Removal. The project is designed to focus national attention on this unique story which played a pivotal role in American History by highlighting publicly-accessible historical sites and providing new interpretive venues to the public. This is one of the key points outlined in the Historic Chattahoochee Commission’s nomination narrative to have the Chattahoochee Trace designated as a National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.

Nominations are open for the 2015 Tourism Awards

Awards nominations are open for the 2015 Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

There are 14 categories that nominations are accepted they are: Director’s Award, Tourism Hall of Fame, Attraction of the Year, Governor’s Tourism Award, Organization of the Year, Event of the Year, Rising Star, ATD Employee of the Year, Welcome Center of the Year, Tourism (Advocate) Media, Tourism (Advocate) Government, Tourism Executive of the Year, Tourism Employee of the Year and Tourism Partnership of the Year.

For each nomination submit a one page statement explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award (required). Supporting material such as a binder/notebook with letters, memos, press releases or other documentation to support your nomination (optional).

It is permissible to nominate your attraction, event, organization or co-worker for an award. You may also nominate yourself for an award.

The deadline for nominations is June 19.

Please send nominations to: Cynthia Flowers,

The conference will be held at the Renaissance Battle House Hotel & Spa in Mobile, Aug. 1-4.

For registration and more information, go to:

Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants

The Alabama Tourism Department is conducting a search for barbecue restaurants around the state that might not have made it into the Alabama Barbecue book.

If you are or know of any barbecue restaurants in your area, please go to to sign in and join Alabama Tourism’s Year of Alabama Barbecue.

Alabama Makers

Alabama is home to a vast number of talented and creative people who produce a wide variety of items including, but not limited to, woodwork, paintings, ceramics, fabrics and a lot of food.

The Alabama Tourism Department is looking for information about these artists and their products.  We are interested in the home-grown cottage industries rather than the industrial giants.

Please send information about people and their products, including contact information, to Peggy Collins, or call 334-242-4545.

2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event deadlines

It’s time to submit information in order to have your attractions and events listed in the printed version of the Alabama Vacation Guide & Calendar of Events.  The listings must be entered into the website by June 30, for the Calendar of Events, and July 10, for the Vacation Guide.

The web address is:

If you have any questions, call Pam Smith at 334-353-4541.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

June 4                         Alabama Makers Marketplace, RSA Activity Center, Montgomery

June 30                       Deadline for Calendar of Events

July 9                          Alabama Tourism Workshop in Montgomery

July 10                        Deadline for Vacation Guide


Tourism Tuesdays 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:

To subscribe to the weekly Alabama Tourism News, please contact Peggy Collins at:

Alabama Tourism Department