the Alabama governor was supposed to participate in a trade mission to China that was arranged by the Southern Governors' Association.
But Riley, who's the association's chairman, says he had to stay home due to the oil spill. There were 39 other representatives from Southern states participating in the association's meetings Thursday and Friday in Beijing.
Riley said the next step is for a group from China to visit Birmingham in August.
The oil spill also forced the governor to pull out of a trade mission to India during the first week of May.
Riley visited Gulf Shores Friday morning. He wants people to know that Alabama's beaches are open and that people looking for a way to help Alabamians during this crisis should spend time on the coast.
"People often ask me, 'Is there something we can do to help the people in Alabama?' I tell them to come visit our beaches. Rent a condo, stay in a hotel, go to a seafood restaurant. Just come down here and enjoy Alabama's coast," said Riley. "Our beaches are open. There are precautionary swimming advisories, but Alabama's beaches are open right now and that's a message we're working to get out."