Fri Jul 31 06:44:09 PDT 2015
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Visitors' Bureau Director Receives 'Rising Star' Award
Blake Benberry

Nestled in southeast Alabama, the city of Dothan has its perks. It’s the peanut capital of the world and the gateway to Florida’s sunny beaches. For 4 years now, one of the city's biggest cheerleaders, Carmen Bishop has worked daily to bring visitors to town. "Educate people near and far on the events that we have; the attractions and all the things that we offer," said Bishop. Always looking for new ways to sell Dothan, Bishop and her team work to bring a fresh appeal to the Dothan Convention & Visitors Bureau where thousands come before exploring the city. "Two years ago we wanted to come up with a new look and a new tag line," Bishop said. “Play and Stay for Peanuts” was the winning tag line and for her continued efforts to rebrand and promote Dothan, Bishop is the winner of the Alabama Tourism Rising Star Award. "It's really just sort of the boost of confidence that you're doing the right things, that your word is getting out there and that you're a positive influence on Dothan and what it means to come and play and stay with us," said Bishop. Bishop's goal is to market Dothan as more than a convenient town for passing through. With over 20 million visitors to the state each year, she's hoping the Circle City will continue growing in popularity with its many attractions. "Landmark Park, the Botanical Gardens, Todd’s Syrup farm…We're very family friendly and we also offer a lot of great parks for sporting events," said Bishop. While the tourism industry was not always in Bishops plans, her vision and plans for Dothan continue to evolve. She says being recognized for her work is an honor, but doing her job is rewarding in itself. "It’s fun to see the city grow. It's fun to see new events that will start from the ground up that will become annual events and just to have visitors come in and say they love Dothan; how welcoming the people are, how many things we have to offer and…that they're going to come back again," she said. Bishop will be presented with the Rising Star Award at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Mobile on August 3, 2015.

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