After many years of development, we are happy to share that the regional ecotourism project has begun! Thanks to funds from a RESTORE Grant, Coastal Alabama Partnership has hired Beyond Green Travel (led by international expert Costas Christ) to assess our region’s ecotourism product. The project will identify and develop an online resource directory with a list of ecotourism destinations in the two county Gulf Coast region.
The project builds on five themes identified in the Regional Strategic Plan, which included a series of eight “Big Ideas”, six of which specifically addressed ecotourism and promoting the brand of the region. They included.
- Expand Eco-tourism and Reinforce Educational Opportunities
- Coordinate existing individual eco-tourism initiatives from across the region as a branded eco-tourism destination.
- Identify opportunities for expansion of eco-tourism activities in the region.
- Foster the development of an organization to promote access in the delta and awareness of natural assets.
- Pursue new and appropriate points of access into the delta and connectivity across the delta.
- Develop a regional education project around ecology, anthropology, and archeology of the Mobile-Tensaw Region.
- Great Places Inventory for ‘Place- Based’ Tourism
- Create an eco-tourism marketing campaign to promote access in the region and awareness of natural assets.
- Enhance existing tourism opportunities by providing an inventory of unique places, communities, downtowns, etc.
- Collaborative Branding Campaign
- Market the Coastal Alabama region externally to foster continued growth in tourism opportunities.
- Create a unique brand which can be adopted and integrated across multiple organizations and platforms.
- Foster a ‘Coastal Alabama’ brand that should tell the authentic story and reflect the natural and cultural assets of the region.
- Creative Economy Initiative
- Promote the natural assets of the region as a tool to recruit a creative workforce.
- Improving Regional Connectivity and Mobility
- Support the development of a multi-use trails in the region.
- Culinary Arts Initiative
- Promote locations within the region that provide a unique culinary experience.
- Foster a food-scene ecosystem that directly draws tourist.
Costas and his team will visit our region many times over the next year with a goal to present a comprehensive plan in Summer of 2022. This plan will formulate the basis of Part Two of our RESTORE Grant that will produce a brand and marketing campaign to showcase the Gulf Coast and its potential for ecotourism.
Learn more about Costas, Beyond Green Travel and the power of tourism by watching his recent Coastal Conversations presentation.