- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

HEADLAND, Ala. (AP) - Joe Todd, owner of Todd Farms, knows first-hand how tourism in Alabama can benefit not only a business, but the area the business is located in as well.

“Tourism is very important to our state,” Todd said. “That is one reason I was so pleased to participate in the Travel South USA Showcase, held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, earlier this month. This event allowed top-producing tour operators and buyers to meet one-on-one with southern travel suppliers to grow tourism in the South. This event was truly amazing.”

Travel South USA is the official regional marketing organization for the southern United States. This event marked the 34th annual Travel South Showcase. During the showcase the following states were represented by participating business vendors: They were Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Each state’s vendors displayed items and products available through their business which allowed everyone to see first-hand what that state had to offer to promote tourism,” Todd said. “I had no idea how hard everyone actually worked to help promote tourism in the South. I must say we are truly lucky to have Bob Hendrix and Angie Bell with the Dothan Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Mr. Hendrix and Angie do a lot more than just promote Dothan. They also promote Henry County, Barbour County and the entire southeast portion of our state. We truly have a lot of interesting attractions in our area, and they are doing a fine job in making sure everyone is made aware of that fact. Like us, we are considered part of the Back Road Tour, which means businesses that are actually unknown but are a great attraction. The bureau informs tourists where we are located and what we offer. They definitely spread the word, and that is what we need, someone to inform the public about all businesses and what they have to offer to visitors traveling through or nearby our area.”

According to Todd, the tourism industry is just behind agriculture and the timber industries in Alabama.

“Tourism is growing in the South, and it is because of individuals like Bob Hendrix and showcases such as Travel South USA,” Todd said. “They all work so hard in promoting destinations of interests, attractions, hotels, restaurants and entertainment in our area.”

Following the Showcase event, Todd came home to his farm in Headland full of excitement of what he hopes will be a great 2016 tourism season.

“We have a great location here in Headland,” Todd said. “We have a lot to offer our guests who stop by. Not only can you watch syrup making, eat a great meal, or shop our general store, we are also putting our final touches on our museum. The museum is scheduled to be open before the tourism season kicks off this summer.”

Once the museum is completed, individuals can take a trip back in time to see how life on the farm actually was in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

“Our goal here is to continue to not only offer great products to our guests, but to also help educate our guests,” Todd said. “A lot of the younger adults and or children have no idea how farming has changed over the years. This museum will allow them to see how farming and agriculture have grown and changed over the years.”

Todd also stated, with the recent dump station added at Todd Farms, he is anticipating a large increase in RVs and motor coaches visiting the farm.

“Having a dump station on the property is a huge benefit for our guests who are traveling by RV or motor coach,” Todd said. “This station will allow drivers to do what needs to be done to that form of transportation, while their family members or guests enjoy a meal, shopping experience or a tour of the farm.”

Over the years, Todd Farms has been a stopping point for many individuals traveling through the area headed to their next destination.

“We have had guests stop during their vacation from all over the United States,” Todd said. “We look forward to meeting new customers as well as fellowshipping with our customers who make Todd Farms an annual destination during their vacation.”


Information from: The Dothan Eagle, https://www.dothaneagle.com

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