Alabama launches $3.5M 'gotta see' ad campaign

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama will launch a $3.5 million advertising campaign in January in hopes of attracting visitors from neighboring states.

The campaign, which will run all year, will have the theme: "Alabama. Now this you've gotta see!"

With the emphasis on major Southern cities, it will include television, print, radio and Internet advertising.

According to Mark Berson, director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, the trend in the South is to take shorter and more frequent vacations within 500 miles from home.

"Alabama has many great travel options that are being overlooked, so the new campaign will help showcase many unexpected treasures," he said.

More than 70% of the state's visitors come from five southeastern states and Alabama itself. Those states are Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi.

Alabama's top 10 markets for overnight visitors are Atlanta; Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, Ala.; New Orleans; Memphis; Nashville; Orlando, and Jackson, Miss.

Last July, the bureau inserted a brochure with the new theme in Sunday newspaper sections in seven Southern cities. The brochure will be expanded and used for the new campaign.

Also, promotional pieces, entitled "The Top 10 Reasons to Visit Alabama," have been prepared.

For details, call the Alabama Bureau of Tourism at (800) ALABAMA or visit www.touralabama.org.

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