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GULF SHORES, Ala. -- One year after a fatal explosion set off one of the worst oil spills in history, the push is on to bring tourists back to the Gulf Coast. Circle K, Coca-Cola and Gulf Coast & Orange Beach Tourism are joining together to launch a campaign to spread the word: the Alabama Gulf Coast is open for business.
"Project White Beach" is a widespread consumer promotion in markets across the Southeast. Under the marketing venture, more than 100,000 discount booklets will be distributed in Circle K convenience stores in Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama. The booklets offer significant discounts for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
"The 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill devastated the entire Gulf region's tourism industry. Over the past several months, however, thanks to the tireless efforts of thousands, our beaches have returned to their natural pristine condition and we need to let everyone know that the Gulf is back and open for business," said Herb Malone, president and CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.
In addition to area discounts, a number of families will win an all-expenses paid vacation package to the Alabama Gulf Coast as part of the "Enjoy the Gulf Coast" sweepstakes. Eight grand-prize winners will each receive a five-night stay on the beach, golf, a beach portrait session, a charter fishing trip, gift certificates to local restaurants and tickets to attractions including the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and the USS Alabama. Consumers can enter the sweepstakes through the Gulf Coast & Orange Beach Tourism Web site and no purchase is necessary.
"The Gulf Coast area is known around the country and world for its beautiful, white sandy beaches and its delicious seafood. Our mission now is to communicate to families, spring-breakers and sport fishermen that the beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have recovered. Many thanks to Coca-Cola and Circle K for helping spread this important message throughout the Southeast," said Linda Whitlock, president of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce.