ALBBA marketing may help county

Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

As one of 23 counties that make up Alabama’s Black Belt Region, Pike County will benefit from the outdoor recreation and tourism promotions offered by Alabama Black Belt Adventures (ALBBA).

Pam Swanner, ALBBA director, was in Pike County Tuesday to explore the outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities that could be included in ALBBA’s marketing strategies.

“Alabama Black Belt Adventures is a non-profit organization committed to promoting outdoor recreation and tourism in the Black Belt Region,” Swanner said. “The Black Belt is widely acclaimed for its hunting and fishing opportunities, which were the initial focus of ALBBA outdoor recreation promotions. Canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, camping and bird watching were also included in the promotions. The Black Belt Region has rich cultural and heritage destinations that can also be marketed outside the state.”

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Swanner said ALBBA’s marketing is designed to attract visitors who come to Alabama, spend dollars and go home.

“When visitors come to the Black Belt Region to enjoy our many outdoor recreational activities and events, we want them to be aware of the many other tourism opportunities that are available to them,” Swanner said. “The more aware visitors become of all the Black Belt has to offer, the more likely they are to return again and again.”

Kathy Sauer, Pike County Chamber of Commerce president, and Swanner visited several outdoor recreational sites and cultural facilities around the county. Sauer said being included in the marketing strategies was a wonderful opportunity for Pike County and its citizens.

“Pike County has a lot to offer and we appreciate the opportunity to be included in Black Belt Adventures marketing strategies,” Sauer said. “Any time, Pike County’s outdoor recreational sites and cultural facilities are included in tourism promotions, we all benefit. And, when these promotions are directed outside the state the results can be far reaching.”

Sauer said Pike County has been indirectly involved with Black Belt Adventures through the Widest Yard Sale, which several local businesses and citizens participated in.

“Several businesses and individuals participated in the Widest Yard Sale, which was a Black Belt Adventures project,” Sauer said. “The yard sale brought a lot of attention to the region as a whole and to the individual counties.”

Sauer said Camp Butter and Egg and the Heart of Dixie Trail Ride were ideal destinations for those who enjoy outdoor activities. Sauer said the increased attention on Pike County outdoor activities would hopefully draw more tourists into the county.

“Being a part of the Black Belt Region and included in the Black Belt Adventures tourism promotions will bring even more attention to Pike County,” she said. “The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a tourist attraction that could benefit greatly from advertising outside the state.

“The Johnson Center for the Arts and the We Piddle Around Theater are destinations for the arts, and Troy University has many events and activities that bring people from outside the state. To collaborate with 22 other Black Belt counties in an effort to bring tourism dollars to the region is a wonderful opportunity for Pike County. We look forward to working with Black Belt Adventures as a part of the Black Belt Region.”