RSA Partnership Draws Tourists to Alabama’s Black Belt Region
Montgomery, AL -(AmmoLand.com)- Hundreds of hunters, anglers and lovers of the outdoors have chosen Alabama as a vacation destination thanks to the partnership shared by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and Dr. David G. Bronner and the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association.
Ads running on Raycom Media, one of RSA’s successful investments with television stations across the nation, and newspapers owned by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., are attracting tourists to the Black Belt region.
“Since 2013, visits to the Black Belt Adventures’ website have almost doubled with more than 60,000 outdoor enthusiasts learning about our region’s recreational assets. We attribute RSA’s donated media placements as a major factor to this success,” said Thomas Harris, founder and chairman of ALBBAA. “From the website, people from all over the country find perfect hunting and fishing grounds and spots for great outdoors’ vacations. It’s because Dr. Bronner and the RSA invested in TV and newspapers that the Alabama Black Belt is able to tell its story on a national stage, from New York to Honolulu.”
To date, the number of inquiries by potential visitors to the region is approaching 3,000. Nearly one-third of respondents to recent ALBBAA inquiries said that these television advertisements and newspaper ads inspired them to seek more information on – and to visit – Alabama’s Black Belt for hunting and fishing trips and other adventures. During this basketball season, Atlantic Coast Conference fans in millions of homes across the nation have felt the tug of the great Alabama outdoors as they watched their favorite teams and, during timeouts, heard legends Ray Scott and Jackie Bushman extol the virtues of the many outdoor adventures available in the Black Belt.
“My overall focus is to provide strong returns to the Retirement Systems of Alabama,” said Dr. Bronner. “Tourism plays a large part of that success. More than 11 million rounds of golf have been played on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail over the past 24 years, making RTJ one of the top attractions in Alabama. Black Belt Adventures now offers visitors other great reasons to come back to spend time and money in our state. From golf and spas to hunting and other outdoor adventures, tourism spending helps Alabama financially while enhancing our image internationally. These efforts make Alabama stronger which is our ultimate goal.”
Contributions to the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association through the media reach of Raycom and CNHI – television stations in 18 states, with 53 stations in 37 markets and more than 130 newspapers – have been valued at more than $4.2 million. The good news about Alabama’s Black Belt has been shared from the Americus Times Recorder in Georgia to The Cullman Times in Alabama to The Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma to The Daily Item in Pennsylvania and beyond.
“We are thankful for Dr. Bronner’s generosity and his understanding that tourism is a thriving economic development tool for the Black Belt region and all of Alabama. Leveraging state resources with RSA media outlets is a winning combination,” said Pam Swanner, Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Project Director. “Dr. David G. Bronner, like our board of directors, is dedicated to helping Alabama attract visitors and tourism dollars to a region that relies heavily on the outdoors industry as a sustainable revenue source. We’re thrilled with the results of this advertising campaign.”
The tourism related tax dollars that result from visitation to the region benefit scores of small communities and businesses.
Tom Lanier, owner of Shenandoah Plantation in Union Springs, said, “Shenandoah has seen the benefits from the efforts of ALBBA and the contributions from RSA have contributed significantly to the growth of the industry. We are seeing visitation reach the levels experienced prior to the recession. It’s a valuable marketing tool that helps us to promote Shenandoah Plantation and brand the region as a hunting destination.”
The advertising message highlights the world-class hunting and fishing found in the 23 Alabama Black Belt counties as well as the world-renown Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Visitors to the region also find amazing diversions at Black Belt Treasures in Camden which features the works of regional artisans and craftsmen, HERObike bamboo creations in Greensboro and some of Alabama’s best barbeque.
To view the commercials produced by ALBBAA and distributed by Raycom, visit www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org/news-room/tv-spots.
About Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association:
The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is committed to promoting and enhancing outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities in the Black Belt in a manner that provides economic and ecological benefits to the region and its citizens.
For information, go to www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org.