WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding an $800,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, Orange Beach, Alabama, to develop and implement a tourism recovery marketing campaign in response to the economic downturn that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

This EDA grant will be matched with $200,000 in local investment.

“Alabama’s sparkling Gulf Coast is one of the many reasons that our state is a premiere destination to spend time with family or friends,” said Governor Kay Ivey.

“COVID-19 has brought on challenging times for tourism around the globe, and I am excited to see this grant supporting our Coast safely welcome back visitors. Alabama is a place where southern hospitality, good food and beautiful places are abound, and we invite everyone to come enjoy all that our Coast offers.”

“COVID was disastrous for the tourism industry and Alabama’s Gulf Coast was not spared,” said Senator Tommy Tuberville. “As travel begins to pick back up, these funds will be used to help to draw visitors back to Alabama beaches and generate much needed revenue for local communities.”

The investment will fund a series of marketing strategies, including identification of the most productive consumer markets and areas of opportunity, research into the most lucrative advertising platforms and the development of appropriate messaging.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau's flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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