New ad campaign encourages people to visit state beaches

By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - With residents concerned about how the Gulf Coast oil spill will impact Alabama's coast, promoters are launching a $1.5 million advertising campaign to tell visitors the state's beaches are still open.

Two television commercials will begin airing on about 50 stations across the southeast and Texas this Saturday.

There will also be print and websites featuring the TV spots.

"The purpose of this is to let visitors and tourists know the beaches are fine, they are beautiful, and they are open for business," said Edith Parten, the communication director for Alabama Tourism, "Our waters are open for fishing, and it is still beautiful down here."

Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama says AAA books a lot of vacations to the Gulf Coast, and the good news is most people are sticking with their vacation plans.

"We know there are people watching the situation very closely," he said. Adding, "So far, not only have we not had any cancellations, we've had several bookings this week with people making plans to go down there in the near future."

Gulf Coast tourism officials are also hoping to get a boost of 30,000 people for the inaugural Hangout Beach Music Festival this weekend.

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