Local tourism officials expect the flights to boost the economy and none as much as the Alabama / Florida beaches along the Alabama Gulf Coast. The trip to the beautiful white-sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key, FL will be be much more accessible and from a variety of new locations with fewer lay overs for those flying in to the area. The city of Pensacola is only 45 minutes East of Gulf Shores, closer still to Orange Beach and a mere 20 minutes to Perdido Key, Florida. Mobile, AL is approximately an hour from Pensacola International Airport. City officials from the beaches of Alabama are excited about the new option for people to reach their vacation destination.
Southwest is now offering twice-daily nonstop service between Pensacola and Nashville and daily nonstop service to Houston. From these two hubs, Southwest travelers will have access to connecting flights from 65 other cities.
The first plane, a Boeing 737, landed in the Pensacola to a greeting from over a hundred smiling faces cheering the new Southwest affiliation including a blues band, cake and gift bags; people are excited about the development obviously. "Traditionally, visitors to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have driven to our family beach destination," said Joanie Flynn, vice president of marketing at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. "However, the arrival of this historically economical carrier will open new doors for us as we market to those looking for a quick travel option for a weekend's girlfriends' trip, a guys' getaway with fishing and/or golf or a quick couples retreat."
Senior adviser of communications for Southwest, Brad Hawkins, said the airline is very aware of the growing popularity of the Northwest Florida and South Alabama beaches and the impact it will have on the tourism industry. More people will definitely be visiting the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and soaking up the vitamin D on the area's beaches. "This is a powerhouse region not only of tourism but business development," Hawkins said. "We're now bringing 3,000 seats a week into this region and 3,000 seats a week out. That's a huge opportunity for business, leisure and economic development."
All of this is coming at a time when massive industry is slated to commence in nearby communities. It's an exciting time for both Gulf Coast residents and those who plan to become members of our local society. The job market, real estate market, small businesses and retail, as well as local restaurants and entertainment venues should all benefit from the growth currently taking place on the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast. Please click here to view real estate information for property in South Baldwin County including Gulf Shores and Orange Beach - Click here for Eastern Shore property info including Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. Click here for Florida info in Escambia County including Perdido Key.