Travel South Showcase 2010

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Travel South Showcase 2010 Birmingham, Alabama



by Scott A. Sumner
NW Ontario Golfing News
 Each year the 12 southern states in the US come together in a travel trade show format to promote what is new and exciting for the traveler in the upcoming year. The 4 day event was held this year in Birmingham Alabama with warm weather and over 500 attendees from tour companies as well as the many attractions and other travel suppliers from the 12 states. It was my pleasure to attend this event and meet some of the state representatives and play golf at the famed Ross Bridge course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
 Ross Bridge is a course I played 5 years ago when it first opened as the luxurious Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa hotel. The 8300 yard course was just as spectacular as I remembered. The weather was excellent at 80 degrees, the course was in fantastic condition and the round was just a great test of golf. You will be able to see this course on television in mid May when the Champions Tour makes a stop there with many of the top pros committed.

“The Audubon trail is a mix of diverse golf courses where you can play hard in the day and hard at night. You could start your golf trip at New Orleans with its great night life. It only shuts down for a few hours per day. We have diversity and great seasonal values in our courses  September to February is very comfortable. We can get warm in the summer.”  Misty Velesquez Director Programs & Services

North Carolina

  “Here, we are in the heart of Nascar with 80% of the teams based in the Charlotte area. You can come out for your favourite team and see the shops in action getting the cars ready for the next race. The teams have made the shops more visitor friendly and you can look through glass windows to see the teams working on the cars or loading them up for the next race. You can also see cars that have been wrecked. The shops can be several big warehouses. You can do tours of the shops and hear the stories of the drivers. Pit Crew University is where they train people for positions on the teams, for example being a jack man or tire guy. It is amazing to see the electronics and computers.”
   “ We have 500 golf courses in North Carolina. There is a new course, called Cherokee that opened last year. The McConnel Golf Tour group has a new program where you can tour 5 private courses that you normally couldn’t play.”  Wit Tuttell, Public Relations Director North Carolina Division of Tourism.


  “Canada was our number one market last year with 2.7 million Canadians visiting us. Many go to the west coast and have a strong interest in that area.  Golf is throughout the state. When you consider Florida’s size and all the golf choices available, we are a major golf destination.”
“ Our new Harry Potter Theme Park is opening this June and it is a big deal. It is going to raise the bar. There is a lot of interest.  Some have held off coming here in order to visit Harry Potter.
  “We also have a new airport in Panama City opening in May in order to serve Northwest Florida. It is being built as an international airport. “  Tracy Vaughan Director International Sales & Marketing 

West Virginia
“ We have the oldest golf course in the US where once a year they play  with hickory sticks and  use sheep to maintain the course. The Greenbriar course is famous for Sam Snead and now Tom Watson and will be hosting the PGA Tour near the end of July. We have nine airports and you can fly into DC as well.” Betsy Carver, Commissioner of Tourism West Virginia.


“The Primland Resort on the 
Blue Ridge Parkway
is a new golf property owned by the largest France landowner. They have just put in a 5 star resort lodge. The golf course is a links course that is beautiful and the spa opens in May. To get there you could start by   flying to the Washington Dulles airport. In the fall, it is stunning 
here because off the hardwood trees- very, very colourful.” Alisa Bailey President CEO Virgina Tourism
South Carolina

“We are hosting the 2012 Senior PGA at Kiawah Island. There are 180 golf courses located in Myrtle Beach, one of the best values for the market. See for lots of information including some overnight accommodations.” Dawn Dawson House Director of Public Relations South Carolina

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