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NTA, Edelman Counsel Resilient Gulf Coast Travel Industry

July 19, 2010


For Immediate Release

Madeline Vied                                                                                       

July 19, 2010

NTA, Edelman Counsel Resilient Gulf Coast Travel Industry

LEXINGTON, Ky.-Tourism professionals and others impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast received free counsel during recent seminars on crisis management and media relations. NTA, the premier North American travel association, and Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm, kicked off a series of half-day educational sessions to more than 100 attendees in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Houma, Louisiana.

"The people in these areas have been through so much- [hurricanes] Katrina, Ike, Rita and Gustav-and now they’ve been hit with the aftermath of the oil spill. Our purpose is to help change the perception that the ‘Gulf Coast is closed.’ Not to minimize the seriousness of the oil spill, but its impact on the beaches is not as widespread as it appears." said Lisa Simon, CTP, NTA president. "We want to make sure that visitors and the travel trade receive complete and accurate information about all there is to do in the region. The Gulf Coast is open for business."

During the sessions, a team from Edelman’s offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Austin, shared their knowledge and expertise on crisis management, traditional media relations and digital media. The workshops were interactive, and ideas and questions flowed throughout, allowing attendees to leave with ideas to sell their destinations.

"All along the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast, tourism professionals have stories to share about their culture and heritage, gaming and nature-based tourism, as well as some incredible culinary experiences that will easily sell their destinations," said Cathleen Johnson, executive vice president of Edelman’s Tourism practice. "We were here to draw out these ideas and help attendees see the ways to move through this crisis and use media and social media to get these stories out to travelers everywhere."

Simon also reviewed opportunities and ideas for attendees to reach tour operators, travel agents and other travel retailers to continue promoting the states’ coastal areas. She shared with the groups in both Mississippi and Louisiana that NTA tour operators had committed to bring business to their areas now and through 2011.

NTA and Edelman next take the seminar series to Gulf Shores, Alabama, July 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kaiser Realty Ballroom and Pensacola, Florida, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (venue to be announced). Registration for these sessions is open at This event is partly sponsored by, an interactive tool devised by travel social network to help you get your message out.

Edelman has one of the largest tourism PR practices in the world, and the firm’s crisis and issues management practice has helped counsel Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized organizations, non-profits, government entities and high-profile individuals respond to a range of communications and reputational challenges. The firm has 3,200 employees in 52 offices worldwide and has been named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade; Adweek’s "2009 Agency of the Year"; and PRWeek’s "2009 Agency of the Year." Visit for more information.

NTA is the leading association for professionals serving travelers to, from and within North America. Since its founding in 1951, the association has served a broad and diverse membership and helped them expand market reach with innovative business tools, strategic relationships and collaboration within the industry. NTA membership represents more than 40 countries. To learn more about NTA, please visit  


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