Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism announced recently that the area has been awarded the opportunity to host two prestigious travel writer conferences. “Both the Midwest Travel Writers Association (MTWA) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) are outstanding organizations with top-notch professionals,” said Herb Malone, president/CEO of the CVB. “By hosting these two groups within six months of each other, we will take our public relations efforts to the next plateau. We are honored to have been entrusted with these tasks as we make plans to host the crème-de-la-crème of travel writers.” Malone added that “after seeing the list of other destinations that have previously hosted these groups, we feel our family-orientated destination has been placed in very humbling company. These groups will generate a significant amount of positive press coverage as well bringing prestige to our destination, and I am proud of our Public Relations Manager Kim Chapman for her hard work on these two conferences.”
Set for October 12-16, 2011, the MTWA conference will provide approximately 40 journalists who live in the Midwest with the opportunity to explore the area’s family-oriented beach destination during the 40th Annual National Shrimp Festival. “Our members are looking forward to experiencing Alabama’s white-sand beaches,” said Mary Lu Laffey, MTWA president. “And we’re eager to discover all the other wonderful sites and attractions in the area.” Founded 60 years ago in Chicago, MTWA is America’s oldest professional travel journalist organization. While all the members live and work in 13 Midwest states, their stories and publications span the globe. This meeting will be the organization’s second visit to Alabama; it met in Huntsville in 2000.
Then in the spring, the area will welcome 25 members of the SATW for its mid-year board meeting from April 11-14, 2012. “The SATW Board of Directors looks forward to meeting at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach,” said SATW President-Elect Betsa Marsh. “After we conduct SATW business, we will explore the region for story and photo opportunities and bring our keen travelers’ eyes and insights to help promote this amazing destination.” Along the same lines, Barbara Ware, board manager for SATW President-Elect Marsh, added that “I am thrilled to bring our esteemed group of travel writers to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. I had never been to this area and on the site visit, I knew after the first few hours, this is a great place for our SATW Board of Directors to meet. The beautiful white sand, the fabulous array of restaurants, and the awesome Gulf Shores and Orange Beach staff won us over. We are excited to be coming to the area.” The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) promotes responsible journalism, provides professional development for its members, and encourages the conservation and preservation of travel resources worldwide. The Society’s more than 1,200 members include journalists, photographers, editors, electronic media specialists, film lecturers, television and film producers, and travel industry public relations representatives. SATW members maintain the industry’s highest professional and ethical standards, and their dedication and experience represent the Society’s commitment to journalistic integrity and credibility. SATW truly comprises “Travel’s Most Trusted Voices.”
“Through these two meetings, we will show the writers unique story ideas along the Alabama Gulf Coast, which will ultimately be included in articles covering our target markets across the Southeast and Midwest,” Malone said. “It’s a win-win situation times two.”
For more information on Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism please see www.gulfshores.com.