Alabama Gulf Coast Convention Joins Food Sport


Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, known across the country as Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (, has signed as the 2016 title sponsor of the World Food Championships (, making Orange Beach, Alabama the Official Host Site of this year’s ultimate food fight.

The arrangement ensures the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach area capitalizes on the energy, excitement and economic impact of an anticipated 1,200 chefs, home cooks and competition teams who will compete for World Food Championships’ $350,000 prize purse and its industry-leading $100,000 grand prize.

The event, which last year attracted competitors from 45 states and 17 countries, will take place Nov. 9-15 at The Wharf (, a resort destination with a full-service marina, retail, dining and entertainment options anchored by a multi-use event center and a 10,000-seat amphitheater.

“Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and our Sports Commission are excited to step into the arena of competitive food sport with the World Food Championships coming to our beach destination,” says Vice President of Sales Beth Gendler. “Sports has truly diversified our destination, and this event helps us diversify even further.

“One of the focuses of the sports commission is to build shoulder season business, and the World Food Championships will be a very impactful event in both room nights and number of people visiting our community during the fall shoulder season,” Gendler said. “It is our pleasure to welcome these national and international food competitors to the Alabama Gulf Coast this November.”

All told, World Food Championships is expected to bring an estimated $2 million in direct local spending as it draws thousands of foodies and Food Sport enthusiasts to the Alabama Gulf coast, elevating hotel and vacation rental bookings, restaurant spending and other community revenue metrics that come with such signature events.

The deal also connects Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism with World Food Championships’ universe of marketing assets, including national media exposure which eclipsed 794 million impressions last year, as reported by independent media monitoring service BurrellesLuce.

The World Food Championships has experienced rapid growth since its creation in 2012 as the richest and largest Food Sport competition in the world. From a 30% annualized growth in competitors, to its second TV series scheduled to air summer 2016 on Destination America, the WFC has evolved into a year-long quest for thousands of competitors and foodies, as well as a marketing platform for innovative companies.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism welcomes more than 5.7 million individuals to the Alabama Gulf Coast each year for family reunions, vacations, meetings and sporting events. Marked by its sugar-white sand beaches, deep-sea fishing and countless family attractions, the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores area is one of the world’s leading beach destinations, annually attracting more than 5 million visitors. Centrally located along the Gulf Coast, and a short drive from airports in Pensacola, Fla. and Mobile, Ala., Orange Beach’s lodging properties are ideal for beach-side access or inland retreats that are both convenient and affordable. A spectrum of local dining, upscale shopping, fishing, golf, nature and adventure-based excursions also contribute to a spectacular vacation, holiday or leisure experience.

The bulk of these Orange Beach-based food fights will occur in Kenmore Kitchen Arena, the largest outdoor kitchen in the world, measuring a full city block at 7,800-square feet. The competition space features $250,000 worth of Kenmore branded stoves, cooktops, countertops and cookware – enough for 50 chefs to cook simultaneously. An additional $100,000 worth of professional grills from Bull Outdoor Products affords open-flame grilling.

To learn more about the WFC and its qualifying events, tournament-style process or consumer experiences, visit

To learn more about Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, visit

To learn more about The Wharf, visit

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About the World Food Championships:
The World Food Championships ( features hundreds of competitors seeking food fame and fortune. The fifth annual event, scheduled for Nov. 9-15, 2016 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama, invites the champions from the biggest and best food competitions around the world into a single highstakes culinary showdown for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Follow World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), and Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships).

About Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism:
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism serves as the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to the unincorporated area of Fort Morgan. To learn more about the whole different state of discovery on Alabama’s 32 miles of white-sand beaches, visit either or This convention and visitors bureau is an accredited Destination Marketing Organization (2012-2016). Follow Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism on Twitter (@AlabamaBeaches), Instagram (@GulfShoresOrangeBeach) and Facebook (@AlabamaGulfCoast).