Happy times returning to Gulf Shores beaches.

The Gulf Coast, and specifically the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach of Alabama, have shown a promising recovery in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Steve Presley, founding member of iTrip, a leading vacation broker firm, stated in a news release, “We saw an aggressive recovery in Gulf Shores, Ala., tourism with 2011 record-breaking gross revenue of $277 million. These figures represent a dramatic uptick in travel to this region, but the presence of vacation rental by owner offerings in the Gulf Shores is a true testament to the progress made.”

The oil spill spoiled the 2010 season for many campgrounds located on or near the Alabama Gulf Coast, as well as the entire region.

He added, “Accommodation revenue has bounced back, but when people start renting their properties, that is a sure sign the area is high demand once again.”

Presley offers these additional thoughts:

  • Reported record-breaking 2011 numbers for Gulf Shores tourism coupled with the presence of vacation rentals by owners suggest there is great potential for matching tourist numbers during the 2012 tourism season.
  • Herb Malone, the director of Gulf Shore-Orange Beach Tourism, spoke recently of plans for a vacation guide for the area that will be downloadable as an app for smartphones and tablets. This foresight by local authorities coupled with the marketing spend of BP in the region brings confidence to the viability of the industry going forward and illustrates the marketing power behind tourism throughout the Gulf Coast.
  • “I expect an increased amount of travel to these geographic areas in light of the clean-up even in the face of challenging economic times,” Presley said.