Archive for » February 24th, 2012«

Tourism Launches “100 Alabama Road Trips”

Gulf Shores

If you’re formulation a outing to a beach, we have an channel for that, or a outing to knowledge a tiny towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.

Montgomery, Ala. (PRWEB) Feb 24, 2012

Alabama Tourism now launched a 3 year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with a recover of a initial 10 trips. The debate focuses on pushing itineraries that travelers can knowledge over dual or 3 days. The initial itineraries are now live on a tourism website and any is numbered, Other trips will continue to be combined via a initial year of a campaign.

The initial 10 trips embody a BCS Championship tour, Eagle examination on Lake Guntersville, a regretful getaway to Mobile, Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights history, open mangle during a beach, a walking debate of downtown Birmingham, Huntsville’s Space Rocket Center, Montgomery’s story tour, bird examination on a seashore and a To Kill A Mockingbird debate in Monroeville. A few arriving trips will embody a Girlfriends Getaway on a Eastern Shore, family fun in Sylacauga, golfing in Alabama, song in a Shoals and Gulf Coast adventures.

“Road Trips” is also a thesis for a 2012 Vacation Guide. Pages 6 and 7 of a beam provides a hide look during a campaign. The cover of a announcement is of a 1953 baby blue Cadillac, most like a one Hank Williams owned, parked on a post during Lake Guntersville. The automobile will be used as a pitch and trademark for a highway trips campaign. The Cadillac is in tourism’s radio commercials that are now airing on radio stations opposite a U.S. The automobile will also be used around a state during events and festivals via a 3 year campaign.

“We wanted to make it easier for travelers to devise their outing so we came adult with 100 itineraries. There’s something for everyone,” pronounced tourism executive Lee Sentell. “If you’re formulation a outing to a beach, we have an channel for that, or a outing to knowledge a tiny towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.”

The 164-page vacation beam provides travelers with information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tourism associations, state parks, golf courses, attractions, trails and museums.

Each segment of a state is highlighted and provides articles on a attractions, places to stay and events in a areas. Articles embody “100 Great Alabama Road Trips” on pages 6-7, selling for treasures in Alabama on page 13, Civil Rights story on pages 14-15, Alabama’s chefs, farms and restaurants on pages 16-25, and golf starts on page 26. Articles on any of a 4 regions of a state along with things to do start with a north segment on page 37. Each informal essay includes a map of a area with a highway outing blue Cadillac icon.

Travelers can collect adult copies of a vacation beam during any of a 8 Alabama Welcome Centers, by job 1.800.ALABAMA or by requesting online during Compass Marketing of Gulf Shores publishes a vacation guide.

Contact: Edith Parten

PR/Media Relations Director

Alabama Tourism Department



Twitter: @ALTourist



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New Prague tourist trail spotlights graft and sleaze

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Prague has long been a favored destination for its medieval looks and cheap beer, but one travel agency has freshened up the offering with a new type of tourism experience which spotlights graft and sleaze.

Corrupt Tour has made a hit out of “The Best of the Worst” trips showing places tied to scandals that have plagued the country’s political life.

The project has caught the zeitgeist in a country of 10.5 million people, where public debate has been dominated by revelations of dodgy deals in everything from multi-billion dollar army contracts to a scheme suspected of skimming nearly a cent from every city transport ticket.

“Our target is to get Czech corruption on a UNESCO list of the world’s cultural heritage,” said Pavel Kotyza, one of the Corrupt tour organizers.

“We are sold out for a week ahead. We are adding German and English tours and thinking about Russian, Italian and even Japanese.”

The Czech Republic, like neighboring Slovakia and other formerly communist countries, has undergone a profound economic and political transformation over the last two decades. But many of the country’s institutions have struggled with graft and a system where prosecutions are rare and convictions even more so.

The new agency offers a range of tours. One popular tour, called Safari, takes tourists around the villas and walled-in estates of businessman linked to big state orders.

On a tour this week, a group of about 20 Czechs of various ages and professional backgrounds was taken to the Prague city hall. A guide – with accessories in orange and blue, the colors of the two biggest political parties – gave lectures on anonymously owned trusts, bearer shares and dodgy tenders.

Walking through the corridors of city hall, participants are told how deals are done with mysteriously owned companies as the “tourists” glare at a clerk just inside the offices.

Another stop is a construction site of a huge road tunnel which has run into delays and a $530 million cost increase. The following stops included an empty field where an Olympic stadium should have been built, but never was – a project that sucked millions in preparations although many critics said it was a clear non-starter from the beginning.

The emergence of a corruption tour agency reflects not only that graft is a problem, but that public awareness for a clean-up is also growing.

The country’s centre-right government in office since 2010, as well as new leadership at city hall, have won cautious praise from non-governmental groups for improving the way taxpayers’ money is spent.

Exposing public officials to ridicule from tour groups may help in itself, said Eva Richterova, a 32-year old participant on the tour.

“There is so much of this nasty stuff that it’s time to do something about it. And maybe this will help a little,” she said.

($1 = 19.0140 Czech crowns)

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Two children in Decatur kidnapped after car breaks down

2nd Update
The Associated Press is reporting that the children have been found safe

1st Update
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation have released the following information on the children and the abductor:

Jalen Mattison is a three-year-old black male that is 3′ and weighs 45 lbs. He has brown eyes, no hair, and was last seen wearing a grey hoodie sweatshirt with a red Thomas the Tank Engine shirt and blue jeans.

His sister Amari is one-year-old, 2’4, and weighs 30 lbs. She has brown eyes and short brown hair. She was last seen wearing a brown and pink hooded sweatshirt with pink pants and a brown shirt.

Both children were last see early Wednesday morning around 1:45 AM at 2645 Wesley Chappel Rd. Decatur GA 30034.

The abductor of the children is described as a black male in his 30s, being 5’10 and having a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black stocking cap and a plaid button down shirt. His direction of travel was possibly South on Wesley Chappel Road in a dark green Jeep Cherokee.

If you have information on the children, you are encouraged to call 911 or the Dekalb County Police Department at (770)724-7850. You can contact the GBI via email at

Initial Story
Authorities are searching for two children who were reported kidnapped after a stranger offered to help the family when their car broke down on the side of an Atlanta-area interstate.

The family’s car broke down early Wednesday and a stranger stopped to help, according to a statement by the DeKalb County police. As the mother was making arrangements for a tow truck, the stranger drove off with the children in a 2000 to 2005 green Jeep Cherokee, police said.

Georgia authorities issued a statewide child abduction alert for 3-year-old Jalen Mattison and 1-year-old Amari Mattison. A police spokeswoman said she did not have the mother’s name, adding the mother was with detectives.

Police said the mother does not know the suspect. The family was driving a 1996 silver Volvo.

(Copyright ©2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Simon Calder: Car-rental rip-offs, and how (not) to equivocate them

I indispensable a let car. So we followed a second order for avoiding transport rip-offs. It is as elementary as a initial (which is, of course, “Never change income during a UK airport”) and concerns automobile let in America: “Never ascent a sinecure automobile in a US.” For any British engineer going west, there is no indicate in usurpation a offer of a bigger vehicle.

First, a “sub-compact” or “economy” automobile in American terms is a ideally important distance for a European family. Next, if we swallow a salesperson’s comment of your pre-booked automobile as being entirely unsuited for a tour we devise (“You’re not severely meditative of all pity that car, are you?”), a costs quickly increase; a ascent cost is itself uprated by a operation of additional charges. Third, knowledge suggests we mount a good possibility of a bigger automobile than we systematic anyway.

On about half a occasions we sinecure in a US, there is not a singular “economy” or “sub-compact” automobile in a let lot, and we get a automobile built like a Sherman tank though profitable a penny more.

Accordingly, we always book a smallest probable vehicle, in advance, approach with a UK multiplication of one of a large multinational firms, or by a attorney such as Holiday Autos – a association we chose for this trip. It cost only £1 per hour for a 48 hours from pick-up to drop-off during a San Diego airfield depot.

The cost enclosed “Total Damage Excess Waiver”, that sounds as strong as a Sherman tank. Thus armoured, we could cheerfully spin down a miscellany of costly word add-ons offering during a let desk.

The other large income tide for car-hire firms and their staff involves persuading we to select a bigger vehicle. So when a accessible car-hire male offering a “Thanksgiving Weekend ascent special” (some time after a open holiday), we declined.

The representative pretentious a open-mouthed mystification routinely seen on a face of a starlet who has only picked adult an Oscar. “No one else has incited it down,” he said, and reiterated a deal.

Wearily, after a moody of scarcely 12 hours, we re-declined and began to initial a let agreement in a places he indicated. Then we took a circle of a Nissan Versa (better, we guess, than a Nissan Vice). As we stuttered off into a night, a automobile seemed utterly roomy, though afterwards each caller to a US contingency recalibrate assumptions about small/medium/large.

When my credit label matter arrived, we was as vacant as a Hollywood starlet to see that a cost of a sinecure had also been recalibrated: £26 had been combined for an upgrade. Holiday Autos’ patron services valid both well-behaved and efficient. Within a integrate of days, my contact, Sebastian, had procured from a car-hire organisation in California a duplicate of a contract.

It showed that we had resolved to compensate for a improved car. Those are my initials, in a box beside a squiggle a representative marked.

“We can't ensue with a reinstate on this occasion,” resolved a company. we have to agree. we had inadvertently supposed an ascent we conjunction wanted nor needed.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Engage mind before gear

“Our advice,” a mouthpiece for Holiday Autos told me, “is always to delicately review by all a terms and conditions of a contractual agreement before signing.” Had we finished so, we would have spotted, and contested, a line reading: “I acknowledge and accept automobile category change.”

Are such disputes common? Apparently not. “We’re not wakeful of identical complaints being done to Holiday Autos.”

Evidently my box was an removed misunderstanding. But we consternation if other travellers have gifted anything identical with other firms.

Imagine a following method of events: representative asks patron if they wish an ascent or additional insurance; patron declines; representative keys in a formula for an ascent anyway afterwards prints out agreement for patron to sign, encircling places to initial; customer, in a mistaken faith that they have declined everything, initials though reading a details.

Such a unfolding promises a awaiting of additional elect with no downside: even if patron spots a neglected upgrade, a representative can explain it divided as a mistake and scold it.

Next time, we will investigate each line of a car-rental contract, and we might wish to do a same.

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DPS identifies woman killed in Nogales collision

DPS identifies woman killed in Nogales collision

CREATED Feb. 23, 2012

Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – Mayra A. Gaxiola, 19, from Nogales, Ariz. has been identified as the woman killed in a collision near Nogales on February 22.

Officer Quentin Mehr tells KGUN9 that DPS responded to a single vehicle collision on Interstate 19, Milepost 1.8.

A Jeep passenger vehicle, driven by Gaxiola, was northbound on I-19 in the outside lane of travel.  For an unknown reason the Jeep took a sharp turn to the left, crossing the inside lane of traffic and entering the median.  The Jeep rolled twice, says Mehr.

Gaxiola, who was not wearing safety restraints at the time of the collision, was ejected from the Jeep and died from injuries sustained.

Next Article in Local News:
Tucson mail processing operations moving to Phoenix



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Hertz Will No Longer Rent Recalled Cars to Consumers

Ever disturbed about renting a automobile that had been recalled? Well, consumers who lease with Hertz no longer have to worry about that. In fact, Hertz might be one of a few automobile sinecure companies out there that wish to take a mount opposite renting removed cars.

Recently, it was announced that Hertz is seeking for law to be put brazen by a supervision to safeguard that vehicles underneath remember are bound before they are given to consumers to drive. Hertz has also done a understanding with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety to ask Congress to give a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a energy to manage recalls via a automobile sinecure industry.

Travel experts have prolonged asked a doubt given let automobile companies were not subjected to a really same manners that automobile dealers and manufacturers are. Currently, there are laws in place to demarcate automobile dealers and manufacturers from offered cars underneath remember before they are fixed. However, there is no such law in place for a automobile sinecure industry.

So a usually doubt that stays is: Why has a automobile sinecure attention been means to shun being enclosed in this law for so long? Mostly, this is given a NHTSA does not have office over automobile let firms. This is peculiar given automobile sinecure companies indeed buy a many new cars and are a biggest source of used cars in North America. When noticed in this light, it seems like common clarity that let agencies be enclosed in these laws as well.


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Tourist team cross VN by jeep

Tourist team cross VN by jeep

A squad of 36 tourists from the US and Australia will join a Trans-Viet Nam adventure by way of 13 vintage jeeps from April 24 to May 3.

A source from Hoi An City-based Rose travel service agency told Viet Nam News that the 10-day tour will start from Ha Noi and wind through the provinces of Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Hue and Hoi An city.

Tourists themselves will drive the 1960s-manufactured military jeeps left over from the American war’s end in 1975.

“It’s the largest tour that our company has organised since our debut in 2010. Tourists really want to experience the military jeeps on the roads in Viet Nam,” said the agency’s staff Vu Xuan Hao.

She said the agency decorated and repaired the old jeeps to provide a safe service for tourists.

As scheduled, two mechanics will accompany the tour on the 1,500km adventure. — VNS

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Tacky Tourists? Silly, creative, ungodly … hallmarks of good transport photos

A family strains to lift an outrageous bolder off a unsafe roost on a towering in Maine.

A male flees in apprehension as a T-Rex lunges for his finger in Florida. A child with clearly superhuman strength hefts a potato a distance of a automobile in Canada.

This is a brave, new universe of vacation photography in a digital age. Showcasing a stupid over a stoic, Darren Garnick of Amherst and Massachusetts residents Peter Doziell of Methuen and Ilya Mirman of Sudbury have combined an online forum,, that enlists a open in poking fun during themselves — and creation outing pix a whole lot some-more fun to share.

Gone are a days when dry print albums stored shot after shot of family members, friends and people whose names have been prolonged mislaid doing that tedious stand-in-front-of-a-landmark- and-say-cheese move.

“So many vacation photos demeanour like a people are Photoshopped into a scene, with a same routine poise during each attraction,” Garnick said. “If you’re station subsequent to a absurd transport sign, hurl your eyes. If you’re subsequent to a dinosaur, fake to be shocked or run divided like we are an additional in ‘Jurassic Park.’” Garnick, an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and freelance writer, is holding that recommendation on a road, training people a dos and don’ts of transport photography. Next on his debate is a 7 p.m. display Tuesday, Feb.
28, during a Amherst Town Library, that this month is displaying a preference of photos from Garnick’s collection.

“I’m anticipating that New Hampshire backpackers, globetrotters and roadtrippers puncture by their possess Facebook and scrapbook repository and move some of their possess funniest moments to share,” Garnick said.

And judging from submissions to, there are copiousness of people who can’t conflict a good photo-op. “Tacky” categories embody museums, traveller attractions, businesses, politics, hats, cemeteries, entertainment parks, signs, poses, characters, cleavage, statues, mascots, county fairs, beach scenes and bureau tours as good as “tackless behavior.”

“Some traveller attractions indeed hang signs mandating that we poise with their endorsed scenic backdrops,” a site’s founders said. “We can't conflict posing with trite mascots, pointer play with holes for a heads, and dumb sculptures such as a World’s Biggest Sombrero.

Sometimes we’ll even compensate 30 bucks to wear a unwashed rags of a Civil War infantryman or 1930s dancing girl. (C’mon, seriously, do we consider those print booths ever do laundry?) “We leave a homes to go distant divided and stalk around other people’s homes,” Garnick said.

“And we have to infer that we were there.“

For many of us, holding cinema is a reason to go on vacation.”

Though he admits he has depressed chase to a plain aged tedious grin in front of a camera from time to time, Garnick revels in a some-more ungodly approach. Decked out in a immature level dress, a wig with braided ponytails and a attractive object hat, Garnick gives a thumbs adult in front of a impulse for one published pose, a statue of Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island.

“I’ve always been preoccupied by cheesy roadside attractions and traveller traps — we know, a World’s Largest Lobster or a World’s Largest Ball of Twine,” he said. “As a kid, we was always seeking my relatives to lift over during these places. As an adult, they are causes for me to impact on a brakes.

“Whether we am 10 miles or 1,000 miles from home, we adore a untroubled feeling of being a traveller and a plea of documenting each weird statue and transport sign,” Garnick said. “I’ve always had these kind of photos in my family albums and a blast of blogging unequivocally desirous me to bond with strangers and try to find a world’s funniest vacation pics.”

The best images simulate a bit of creativity — or during slightest a eagerness to demeanour nonsensical in open in a process. For example, there’s a print of a traveller who appears to be wearing Paris’ Eiffel Tower as a blockhead cap. He perfects a judgment with a astonished expression, with his right palm lifted as if scratching a “hat” with his forefinger in confusion.

Or a crafty print during a Red Rocks of Sedona, Ariz., in that a delicately acted print offers a viewpoint that a figure in a credentials is staid playfully on a open palm of a chairman in a foreground.

“My best recommendation for holding an award-winning Tacky Tourist Photo is to mangle out of a mold of station unbending as a house and try to correlate with your environment,” Garnick said. “Let lax and take several opposite shots if we wish one you’ll love.”

To validate as truly “tacky,” a print doesn’t need to be rude, though.

“There unequivocally is zero run-down or sickening about any of a cinema on a site,” Garnick said. “We’re redefining ‘tacky’ to meant humorous or stupid or kitschy. We’re outrageous fans of alliteration and ‘Funny Tourist Photos’ only doesn’t have a same sorcery ring to it (as Tacky Tourist Photos).

“Another critical eminence is that there are tons of Photo of a Day sites out there that poke fun during a people in a pictures.

We don’t do that,” he said. “We’re shouting with tourists who are deliberately looking nonsensical in their submissions.”

In a shot taken during Dinosaur Land in Winchester, Va., a contingent stages a ridicule conflict with a hulk praying mantis who appears to have toynapped one of a tourist’s pinkish pressed bunny.

“Long term, we’d like to make a coffee list book and transport beam featuring a many comical traveller print ops and stories,” Garnick said. “Short term, we are seeking to bond with a museum, art gallery, review or university that doesn’t take itself too severely for an stretched ‘Tacky Tourist Photo’ exhibit.

“I could see myself attack a harangue circuit on a college liberality and hotel government scene, or maybe even move a uncover to journey ships or transport representative conventions,” he added. “I also wish that some-more New Hampshire transport junkies open adult their family vacation albums and consider of us when they see something nonsensical on their subsequent highway trip.”

Garnick’s possess travels over a years have done utterly an sense on him — and others.

“His favorite moments embody assisting rescue a mislaid tree languor in Costa Rica, giving PEZ dispenser gifts to genealogical leaders in a South Pacific, and sprinting adult a ‘Rocky Steps’ in Philadelphia but collapsing,” pronounced Ruslyn Vear, conduct of anxiety and adult programming during a Amherst Town Library. “He is also a Boston Herald … columnist and a writer to and New Hampshire Magazine.”

To strech Garnick, send E-mail to

To register for a module during a Amherst Town Library, 14 Main St., call 673-2288, send E-mail to or revisit

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