Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism celebrates 25 years
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
CVB to host celebratory event on Nov. 2, 2018
GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – In 1993, the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was founded as the official destination marketing organization for the areas of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. In 2010, the CVB was renamed Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism; and this year, the organization is celebrating 25 years of providing a leadership role in supporting and promoting the Alabama Gulf Coast. The organization has also chosen this momentous occasion to refresh its brand with an updated logo and return to the time-honored tagline “Alabama’s White-Sand Beaches."
“This landmark year not only symbolizes the hard work and dedication of our staff here at the CVB, but also of the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, present and past board members, and our industry partners,” said Herb Malone, president and CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “We are so fortunate to live in a community where leaders and business owners are able to put aside competition for the betterment of our beaches, especially in times of need."
Over the course of the CVB’s history, there have been countless times where the future of the destination has relied on the collaboration of city leaders and business owners. In 2016, the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, alongside the CVB, partnered to implement the Leave Only Footprints campaign after recognizing the need to promote continued sustainability in order to insure the safety of guests and native sea turtles, and to keep the beaches pristine. Today, these efforts have been recognized by destinations around the country.
“The city of Orange Beach has matured into a true destination for family-friendly vacationers seeking to make memorable experiences while promoting and protecting Alabama’s beaches for all to enjoy,” said City of Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon. “The regional Leave Only Footprints initiative is a great example of teamwork and effort coming together for an improved product."
The creation of the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission in 2005 is another example of the fruitful partnerships between Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and local high schools.
"Since starting with the CVB 16 years ago, so much has changed, from forming the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission in 2005 to expanding our meetings offerings with The Lodge at Gulf State Park in 2018," said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and Sports Commission. "I count it as a blessing to play a part in growing sports and meetings while watching athletes and business travelers convert to leisure guests when they fall in love with Alabama's beaches."
In 1993, there weren’t many who knew the beauty of Alabama’s beaches. The area housed about 7,500 lodging units along with a few restaurants and shops. Today, there are more than 17,000 lodging units as well as hundreds of shops and restaurants. What were once sleepy beach towns in 1993 now welcome more than six million visitors a year. This growth has not only benefited visiting families and friends, but the local community as well.
“Over the past 25 years, the CVB has played an integral part in the growth of our tourism industry, which, in turn, enhances our economy and the overall quality of life for our residents,” said City of Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft. “They work diligently to promote our local businesses, organizations and annual events to the millions of guests that visit Gulf Shores each year. We are grateful for the services the CVB provides to our community, visitors and local organizations and businesses."
Many longstanding business owners, like Brian Harris, president/CEO of Harris Properties, have been operating in the destination long before the creation of the CVB, and have enjoyed watching the growth over the past several decades.
“My parents bought the first beach cottage in 1983 when I was just four months old; and we still have guests that remember renting from my mom and dad,” said Harris. “We have been excited to see the growth because it allows us to share our beautiful beaches with guests from across the country.”
The rise in tourism has also encouraged people from all over the country to start a business and make a new home on Alabama’s beaches. Jennifer Guthrie opened Glow Yoga in May 2013 to provide a feeling of escape, restoration and stress relief for both locals and visitors.
“For us, tourists are like old friends and family that visit us repeatedly when they are down on their annual or seasonal trips,” said Guthrie. “We’ve actually had many tell us they plan their vacation to Gulf Shores because of our studio which is an incredible compliment.”
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism will celebrate 25 phenomenal years on Nov. 2 at the Coastal Alabama Chamber’s First Friday Forum. The event will be held at Orange Beach Event Center starting at 7:30 a.m. The CVB will be recognizing the efforts contributed by the community as well as unveiling its new look which includes a new logo, tagline and color palette. This event is open to Chamber members and invited guests. For media who are interested in attending this event and/or interviewing local business owners, please contact Mary Sergeant, communications coordinator for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.
The CVB has also launched a 25th Anniversary Beach Vacation Sweepstakes in celebration of this occasion. Please visit https://gsob.co/25thAnniversary to learn more about the sweepstakes and the history of the CVB.
About Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism:
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism serves as the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to the unincorporated area of Fort Morgan. To learn more about the whole different state of discovery on Alabama’s 32 miles of white-sand beaches, visit either GulfShores.com or OrangeBeach.com. This convention and visitors bureau is an accredited Destination Marketing Organization.