Tourism Tuesdays June 27, 2017

Shaping Alabama’s two new national parks

Toronto Star: 7 things to experience in Alabama

Food & Wine magazine moving to Birmingham

U.S. Space & Rocket Center will get ‘state-of-the-art planetarium’

July 4th celebrations across Alabama 

Don Staley to head Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission

Southern Makers event announced for Aug. 12-13 in Birmingham

ALABAMA 200 bicentennial workshop is June 29 in Robertsdale

Vacation Guide/Calendar of Events deadline is June 30

Alabama Makers Market is July 27 in Montgomery

Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism is Aug. 19-22 in Birmingham

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website


Shaping Alabama’s two new national parks
From the article by Erin Edgemon on

When Reggie Tiller, acting superintendent of Alabama’s two newest national parks, started his career with the National Park Service as a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, he got a lot of attention.

“When you are on horseback, and you are the only black guy on horseback in the mountains, people want to come up and talk to you — a lot,” Tiller said, laughing. “I probably have more pictures in photo albums around America and around the world than the other rangers I worked with because it was like, ‘hey let’s get a picture with that ranger,” he said.

An average of 3 million people from across the world came to visit that park each year and Tiller is now charged with creating two parks that will attract tourists to drastically different settings – the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston.  He also serves as deputy superintendent at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.

On and off the horse
Tiller’s experiences on and off the horse have prepared him for taking on his latest assignment.

Being a country boy in Erin, Tenn. gave him an advantage at the Rocky Mountain post, he said. Tiller grew up running in the woods and riding horses and never got lost, he said.

Outdoor navigation skills – the ability not to get lost – is essential to a post at Rocky Mountain National Park, Tiller said. Search and rescue was a routine part of the job.

Before joining the park service, Tiller served as assistant director of Tennessee State Parks. That job, his national park experience and his education, including a doctorate in strategic leadership, helped prepare him for the task he now faces: building two parks from the ground up.

And it isn’t his first park to build.

Tiller led the formation of the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio, which was created by presidential proclamation, in 2013. At the same time, he served as superintendent of the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before serving at Taft, he was superintendent at George Washington Carver National Monument.

After President Barack Obama signed a proclamation in January declaring the two Alabama sites national monuments, Tiller volunteered to serve as the first superintendent.

“Reggie brings broad experience to his new role,” Sherri Fields, deputy regional director, National Park Service, said in a statement to “As acting superintendent, Reggie will work to build a solid foundation for, both, the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument.  We thank Reggie for accepting the challenge.”

Tiller moved to Birmingham on a part-time basis in April. He splits his work week between Birmingham and Anniston. His days are filled with meetings, and he spends his evenings Skyping with his wife and 10-year-old daughter in Atlanta.

He speaks with community groups, most recently the Anniston Rotary Club, to educate them on what a national park is and its potential impact.  Much of his duties, right now, he said is making sure the restoration work at Gaston protects the historical structure.

Building a park
The National Park Service is seeking input from the community on what civil rights stories should be interpreted through the national monuments.

“This is new ground for Birmingham,” he said. “We know (the city) has a good tourist following in terms of coming here to learn more about what happened in Birmingham.

“There’s a lot to see here, a lot to learn here,” he continued. “This is a perfect place for a national park, in my estimation, to work with the community that has all of these stories to share.”

Though the borders of Birmingham’s national park lie downtown, Tiller said any story related to the Civil Rights Movement in the city can be interpreted through the national park.

“If there is something that happened that we don’t know about now, we will research it and make it a part of the story, he said.

This process of collecting stories is part of the creation of foundation documents for both parks. The core purpose and significance of the parks as well as their most important resources and values, and the challenges facing the parks will also be addressed.

The foundation documents will provide a basis for first steps in prioritizing park planning and data needs that will guide the parks in future management decisions, Tiller said.

This process will take about a year, he said.

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument encompasses roughly four city blocks in downtown Birmingham, including the A.G. Gaston Motel, which served as the headquarters for the Birmingham campaign, a movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls were killed in a bombing in 1963.

During the campaign for civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

The national monument also includes Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 4th Avenue Historic District, Bethel Baptist Church, Colored Masonic Temple and St. Paul United Methodist Church.

The Freedom Riders National Monument commemorates the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement.

Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to challenge discriminatory laws requiring separation of the races in interstate travel. The national monument preserves the site of the Greyhound bus station as well as the location of the bus burning by white segregationists.

The U.S. Department of Interior has requested $180,000 in funding for fiscal year 2018 for each of the Birmingham and Anniston sites to support initial operations.

It’s unclear if the parks will be allocated that sum when the new fiscal year starts in October.

Tiller said the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument received only $90,000 in funding during its first year.

“In the first year there is a certain level of funding that comes down,” he said. “In year two, you usually see enough money to hire a superintendent and staff. It is a year-to-year process until it gets to the level that is needed for these types of operations.”

Funding should coincide with visitation to a park, he said.

Federal funding will pay for staff salaries, supplies, programming and some community outreach, Tiller said. The Birmingham and Anniston national monuments could establish a friends group, which could raise money for the parks, he said.

The National Park Service offices in Birmingham will be located at the Gaston Motel once restoration is complete, Tiller said.

Staff at both parks could include a superintendent, two interpretive rangers and likely many volunteers. Interns could also be utilized at the facility.

No visitor center or gift shop for the national monument will be constructed because they already exist at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Tiller said.

By the end of summer, exterior restoration work should begin at Gaston Motel, he said.

Tiller said there’s currently no timeline for the work to be complete.

The National Park Service is currently researching the Gaston Motel in order to restore the exterior structure and a number of rooms to what it looked like in 1954, when the motel was first constructed, he said. King stayed at and held meetings in a “war room” at the top left of the hotel.

“We want to interpret rooms based on what they looked like at that place in time,” he said.

Researchers in Atlanta and Denver are pulling pictures, city records and floor plans and consulting with architects and project managers for the restoration. This process could also involve interviewing foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement and family members of Gaston to recreate rooms in the hotel.

From there, interpreters will need to locate period furnishings.

When restoring King’s boyhood home in Atlanta, Tiller said the National Park Service used old Sears catalogs and pictures from family members.

Tiller said there have been early discussions of having the Birmingham and Anniston sites as part of the Trails & Rails program, a partnership between Amtrak and the National Park Service.

Through the program, guides ride on the trains, such as the Crescent which travels through Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans, and share information on the historical landmarks with passengers.

Birmingham is already seeing an increase in visitors due to the new monument designation. Visitors can also have their National Park Service passports stamped at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute ticket booth.

“It is very exciting. We are seeing a growth in the number of visitors,” said Andrea Taylor, president of the Civil Rights Institute. “The summers are always a heavily visited time for the Institute and the district.”

The Institute is stamping 15 to 20 passports each day, she said.

“The national designation does heighten substantially the visibility of Birmingham as a city – a city being revitalized in many ways,” Taylor said. “The monument is a part of that revitalization story. People are even more eager to come to Birmingham and understand the history here.”

For the complete article please see

Toronto Star: 7 things to experience in Alabama 
Editor’s note:  Rick McGinnis with the Toronto Star visited the state in October on a press trip coordinated by the Alabama Tourism Department. This is the fourth article McGinnis’ has done on Alabama. His first article was a feature on the Talladega Superspeedway (, his second described some uniquely Alabama souvenirs he picked up along his travels ( his third article focused on Muscle Shoals music (

From the article by Rick McGinnis in the Toronto Star:

ALABAMA-There’s more than just music on the road from Birmingham to Muscle Shoals, in a state that’s often overshadowed by its louder neighbors, Tennessee and Louisiana. There’s a lot of history, and plenty to see, but the one thing that’s for certain is you’re going to eat a lot of good barbecue.

Everyone in Alabama has a strong opinion about barbecue, and this little roadside joint with a handful of picnic tables in Florence has partisan supporters who drive for miles for its hot dogs and pulled pork, dressed on top with a spicy slaw that’s unique to the place. Be warned – Bunyan’s serves things their way and there are no substitutions, but for many people Bunyan’s is the taste of The Shoals. Details:

Charlemagne Record Exchange:
Still run by the original owners who started it in 1977, this mainstay of the Five Points neighborhood of Birmingham is packed from floor to rafters with not only vinyl, but a healthy selection of CDs and even cassettes. With a helpful staff and a funky vibe, Charlemagne is the record store every town wishes it had. The shop enjoys the loyal patronage of local musicians, such as soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

Hot and Hot Fish Club:
Chef Chris Hastings won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the South award in 2012 for his innovative updating of Southern food classics at Hot and Hot Fish Club, such as the chicken fried steak with Wagyu beef, and a heritage tomato salad with black-eyed peas. It’s located in a former juke joint a short walk from the main intersection of Five Points in Birmingham. Look for a table in the big round room with the open kitchen. Details:

A concert venue by night, the space-themed nightclub Saturn in the Avondale area of Birmingham was started by Brian Teasley of Alabama instrumental punk band Man or Astro-man? in 2015. Start your day there as well, at Satellite, the spacious coffee shop just outside the club that transforms into a bar later in the day. The club’s booking policy is wildly eclectic, and the coffee is fantastic, so make it your home base to explore Birmingham’s hottest new neighbourhood. Details:

Barber Motorsports Museum:
George Barber made his fortune in dairies, and began collecting motorcycles in 1991. The Barber Motorsports Museum moved from Birmingham to Barber’s world-class racetrack outside the city in 2003, and houses the world’s largest collection of motorcycles. It’s a spectacular display in a magnificent building that’s about to get bigger with the opening of a new wing that will make the job of taking in all of Barber’s collection even more like a full day’s work. Details:

Butts to Go:
Retired marketing executive Wade Reich moved home to Alabama and bought a Texaco station in Pell City in 2005. He used to smoke Boston butts — pork butts, the best cut for pulled pork — in college, and began to cook them on a concrete pad next to the station, tinkering with the smoke formula until he got it right. Butts to Go has become a major attraction in the town, along with his ribs and a spectacular side made with roast potatoes and sour cream. There are a few tables inside to sit down and enjoy a sandwich, but if you want a whole butt or sides of ribs for the weekend, phone ahead to reserve your order.

Hassinger Daniels Bed & Breakfast:
Every room in this carefully restored and heritage-landmarked 1898 mansion in Birmingham’s Five Point neighborhood is unique, with names such as the Camelot, Hera’s Lair and the Vulcan, after its view of the city’s iconic statue on nearby Red Mountain. Hassinger Daniels Mansion Bed & Breakfast owner Sheila Chaffin does a nice breakfast, and leaves out a tray of baked goods for guests in the front hallway.

Rick McGinnis was hosted by the Alabama Tourism Department, which didn’t review or approve this story.

For the complete article please see

Food & Wine magazine moving to Birmingham
From the article by Ty West in the Birmingham Business Journal:

Birmingham’s rising culinary scene will soon have another feather in its cap.

Food & Wine magazine is moving to the Magic City.

The chef-focused publication, which has been based in New York since 1978, is relocating to the new 40,000-square-foot Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) Food Studios on the Southern Progress campus in Birmingham. As we’ve previously reported, that complex is already home to a number of Time Inc.’s food ventures, including Cooking Light and Southern Living, among others.

Cooking Light Editor Hunter Lewis has also been named the new editor-in-chief for Food & Wine. Lewis was already based in Birmingham. He will succeed Nilou Motamed, who opted against making the move to Birmingham, according to The New York Times.

Some Food & Wine operations will remain in New York, however, according to a statement from the company.
While the move was due in part to a desire to save money, Lewis told the Times that the move was “more about maximizing the facilities we have in Birmingham.”

A representative for Time Inc. told the Birmingham Business Journal it is currently evaluating how many positions could be transferred to or created in Birmingham in connection with the move.

She also said they anticipate some current New York employees will have a chance to transfer to Birmingham.

Having a chef-focused publication with the reach of Food & Wine located in Birmingham could provide a huge boost to the local culinary scene, which has been on the rise in recent years. In the past two weeks alone, the Magic City’s food scene has been lauded by The New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle and the Toronto Star. That follows a litany of other accolades.

Given Food & Wine’s reach, having the magazine in Birmingham could draw a stream of high-profile culinary professionals to the Magic City for visits, which could significantly increase word-of-mouth exposure for the region in the food world.

For the complete article please see

U.S. Space & Rocket Center will get ‘state-of-the-art planetarium’
from the article by Lee Roop on

A new “state-of-the-art planetarium” is planned for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the center announced last week. The center’s current SpaceDome IMAX Theater will be renovated into the new facility, the center said.

Intuitive and Research Technology Corp. will partner with the center’s foundation in the renovation “to include planetary and advanced digital theater technology,” a press release said. The target opening date is in 2019 in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“As a scientific community, Huntsville deserves a fine planetarium capability, and we look forward to extending our relationship with the Von Braun Astronomical Society to optimize this gift from Intuitive for our community,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the rocket center.

“The new planetarium will be a one-of-a-kind asset to our community, as well as a spark to ignite a sense of space exploration adventure in our young people,” Intuitive President Harold Brewer said. In addition to funding, he said Intuitive will provide design and engineering expertise during the renovation.

“The foundation is deeply grateful for transformative gifts and hands-on partnerships. Intuitive Research and Technology has made a thoughtful commitment to elevate and support learning through visually ‘Wow!’ environments,” said Holly Ralston, executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation.

For the complete article please see

July 4th celebrations across Alabama
Fireworks, great summer food and live entertainment highlight July 4th celebrations across Alabama.  Visitors can choose from 20 Independence Day events and firework shows.

The celebrations include the Spirit of America Festival at Point Mallard in Decatur, Thunder on the Mountain at Vulcan Park & Museum in Birmingham and Independence Day 1776 at the American Village in Montevallo. Families can also enjoy a baseball game in Montgomery, sample fresh watermelon at the Watermelon Festival in Grand Bay or watch reflections of fireworks on the waves at Gulf Shores.

The Alabama Tourism Department suggests the following July 4th events.  For a complete calendar of events listing see

AthensAthens Fireworks Show 
Fireworks at Athens High School football field. 256-232-5411. Free.

Birmingham-Thunder on the Mountain
Vulcan Park & Museum. Birmingham’s annual fireworks display with Vulcan as the centerpiece of the program. 205-933-1409. Free.

Decatur-Spirit of America Festival
Point Mallard Park. Celebrate the nation’s birthday at one of the state’s largest patriotic festivals, featuring children’s activities, live music and fireworks show. This year is the festival’s 51st anniversary. 800-232-5449. Free.

Eclectic-4th of July Blast
The AMP on Lake Martin. Watch fireworks over the lake from the lawn of the amphitheater after enjoying music concerts. 256-397-1019. Admission charged.

Elba-Let Freedom Ring
Downtown Elba.  Evening activities including a concert, walking parade, children’s activities, watermelon eating and fireworks.  Free.

Fairhope-Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks Display 
Henry George Park and Fairhope Municipal Pier. The Baldwin Pops Band Independence Day Concert begins at 7 p.m. with a variety of patriotic music before and after the fireworks display. 251-929-1466. Free.

FlorenceShoals Spirit of Freedom Celebration
McFarland Park. Live music and family activities with food vendors onsite. Fireworks show after dark. 256-740-4141. Free.

Grand Bay-Watermelon Festival
Festival Park. Sample locally grown watermelon while enjoying local music, arts & crafts.  251-865-3456. Admission charged.

GreenvilleCelebrate America 
Tiger Stadium. Family activities and fireworks. 7-9 p.m. 334-382-3251. Free.

Gulf ShoresFourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Gulf State Park Pier. Fireworks at 9 p.m. 1-800-745-7263. Free.

GuntersvilleFourth of July Fireworks on Lake Guntersville 
Lake Guntersville. Fireworks show at 9 p.m. best viewed from Civitan Park and Lurleen B Wallace Drive. Free.

Henagar-Sand Mountain Potato Festival
Celebrate with live music, arts and crafts, entertainment, games and fireworks. Event begins at 10 a.m. and culminates with a fireworks display at dark.  1-888-805-4740.

Huntsville-U.S. Space & Rocket Center July 4th Celebration
Children ages 12 and under get free admission on July 4 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Enjoy special, family-friendly patriotic activities during regular museum hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Rocket Center will close at 5 p.m., and there are no evening activities inside the park on July 4. Instead, the Center will launch its largest fireworks display ever for the city of Huntsville at 9 p.m. 1-800-637-7223.

Mobile-USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Annual Independence Day and fireworks celebration at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park. Live, patriotic entertainment provided by the Mobile Pops Band at 7 p.m., until the fireworks illuminate the sky at 9 p.m. $5 fee for parking. 251-433-2703

MontevalloIndependence Day 1776
The American Village. See the stories of America’s founding with period re-enactors, play Colonial games, patriotic music, fireworks and more. Gates open at 11 a.m. 205-665-3535. Admission is $5 per person. Veterans, active military, and children 4 and under are free.

Montgomery-Montgomery Biscuits vs. Jacksonville Suns
Enjoy baseball at Biscuits Stadium with a fireworks show following the game. 334-323-2255. Admission charged.

Opp- July 4th Celebration
Family fun event held at Frank Jackson State Park in Opp beginning at 10 a.m. with live entertainment during the day and fireworks at dark. 334-493-7970.  Free.

PrattvillePrattville Independence Day Celebrations 
Events kicks off with a parade through downtown at 9 a.m., followed by a Lions Club BBQ fundraiser at 10 a.m. at Pratt Park, Cardboard Boat Races at 10:30 a.m. at Pratt Pool and a patriotic program followed by fireworks beginning at 6 p.m. at Stanley Jensen Stadium. 334-595-0800. Free.

TroyCity of Troy 4th of July Celebration 
Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. Fireworks show at the stadium on the Troy University campus at 8:30 p.m. 334-566-0177. Free.

Wetumpka4th of July Celebration  
Gold Star park. Live entertainment, children’s activities and fireworks. 6-9 p.m. 334-567-5147. Free.


Don Staley to head Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission
From the article by Jason Morton in the Tuscaloosa News:

The former sports director of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) has been chosen as the group’s new president and CEO.

Don Staley, who left Tuscaloosa three years ago to take on a similar position in Foley, announced Thursday via social media that he has been named the new leader of TTS.

“I’m thrilled to be home,” said Staley, 58, of returning to the city where he built his career.

For 14 years, Staley served as the first head soccer coach for the University of Alabama.

Staley then helped form the Tuscaloosa Sports Foundation almost 10 years ago with Chuck Sittason, who now serves on the TTS board of directors.

“There’s so much to offer this city and I think that if I take that necessary time and listen to the constituents, I can start to form a plan…and then actually execute that to help promote this city in all areas,” Staley said.

He acknowledged Mayor Walt Maddox’s stated desire of creating an “experience-based” economy in Tuscaloosa, which derives revenue from luring visitors to Tuscaloosa for experiences that cannot be found elsewhere.

“Simply put,” Staley said, “it’s to make sure those people stay a little longer, and that can be accomplished as long as we have help from our partners.

“I’m looking forward to taking the baton and running the next leg.”

Staley was among 20 in- and out-of-state applicants for the position, five of whom were granted an interview.

TTS board chairwoman Lesley Bruinton said final salary negotiations are taking place and she expects to have them complete by the time Staley officially assumes his CEO duties on July 10.

“The candidates that we interviewed were stellar candidates – it was really an impressive field,” said Bruinton, who also serves as spokeswoman for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. “Don really stood out to us with his enthusiasm and passion for selling Tuscaloosa.”

She noted his prior experience both with the TTS organization and as the University of Alabama’s soccer coach as reasons the board believes he was the proper choice.

“We think that makes him an ideal candidate to bring an experience-based economy to Tuscaloosa,” Bruinton said.

He officially takes over TTS on July 10 and succeeds Gina Simpson, who announced her resignation as the CEO of the group in March, and takes over for Bill Buchanan, who was named interim CEO upon Simpson’s departure.

Staley became the head of the newly formed Tuscaloosa Sports Foundation in 2008 after spending 14 years as the University of Alabama’s head soccer coach.

Before starting UA’s soccer program in 1994, Staley was the head men’s and women’s coach at Radford University in Virginia.

As a coach, Staley in 2004 became the fifth coach in NCAA soccer history to reach the 300-win mark. His overall career record of 324-257-38 spans 23 years.

As a head coach at the Division 1 collegiate level, Staley garnered four Coach of the Year awards in two different leagues.

After retiring from coaching, Staley had looked into other soccer coaching jobs despite his growing interest in getting into the administrative end of collegiate athletics.

That chance came when he was approached to be the executive director of the Tuscaloosa Sports Foundation, a position he held until the foundation merged with the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2010 to form the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission, now known as TTS.

“I’m thrilled to return home to lead this outstanding organization and thank the search committee for recommending me to the TTS board,” Staley said.

“In the days and weeks to come I look forward to meeting the staff and reconnecting with old friends, business community, elected officials, the arts and the many stakeholders that help make our community great.”

“Tuscaloosa is a dynamic and vibrant community that once you take it in, it never leaves your heart.”

For the complete article please see

Southern Makers event announced for Aug. 12-13 in Birmingham
Organizers announced that tickets are on sale for the fifth annual Southern Makers, a two-day event on Aug. 12-13 at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham.  The event moves to Birmingham for the first time this year after previously being held in Montgomery.

More than 100 of Alabama’s top makers, including nationally renowned fashion designers, textile artists, screen printers, jewelers, brewers, winemakers, contemporary artists, farmers, woodworkers, chefs, bakers, architects, industrial designers, preservationists and entrepreneurs, will come together in Birmingham to celebrate Southern creativity and innovation. For more information and to purchase tickets please see

ALABAMA 200 bicentennial workshop is June 29 in Robertsdale
The next in the series of ALABAMA 200 workshops is Thursday, June 29, at the Central Annex Building in Robertsdale beginning at 10 a.m. The workshop is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. For more information, visit

The ALABAMA 200 series of regional workshops, offers community members access to bicentennial programming ideas, resources and funding opportunities. The workshops are designed to assist communities in planning for Alabama’s bicentennial commemoration.

Each workshop is tailored to the region and includes tourism professionals, representatives from area history/heritage and arts organizations, local bicentennial committee members, chamber and county representatives and others.

Between 2017 and 2019, ALABAMA 200 will engage residents and visitors in educational programs, community activities and statewide initiatives that teach, inspire and entertain. Local communities, though, will be the heart of the commemoration. The regional community workshops are an opportunity to develop cross-county partnerships that can include shared calendars, collaboration on projects and joint celebrations.

The workshops are supported by local and statewide partners, including Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism, Alabama League of Municipalities, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Main Street Alabama, Design Alabama, Alabama Historical Commission, Black Heritage Council, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Association of Regional Councils, Alabama Communities of Excellence and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

For future workshop locations and dates, visit

Vacation Guide/Calendar of Events deadline is June 30
The deadline for submitting items for the printed version of the Alabama Tourism Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events is June 30.  Use the Alabama Tourism industry partners website at to enter and manage events/attractions in the database. If you need assistance please contact Pam Smith at 334-353-4541 or email at

Alabama Makers Market is July 27 in Montgomery
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 on Thursday, July 27 in Montgomery.  The event is free and will also be open to the public for retail sales.

Booth space is free for the event. Local vendors interested in participating can contact Leigh Cross at for registration information. Deadline for registration is June 27.

Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism is Aug. 19-22 in Birmingham
The Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism is Aug. 19-22 at the Sheraton Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism provides tourism professionals a chance to gather and learn about the economic impact of the industry on the Alabama economy, learn new strategies for marketing local Alabama attractions and amenities to visitors, raise money for scholarships through silent auctions and celebrate achievements.

For an agenda, list of speakers and registration information please see

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website
It is time to start updating events for 2018. If you have a 2017 event that will reoccur in 2018, you can “duplicate” it in your partner account. By clicking “duplicate” you will be able to alter dates and details without having to redo the entire listing.

Need to touch up your partner account? Go to today.


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