Alabama Tourism Industry Climbs to $24 Billion | New

AUBURN, Alabama — Alabama’s tourism industry has grown significantly over the past decade to have an economic impact of $24 billion this year, Governor Kay Ivey and state officials announced Tuesday.

In 2013, tourism accounted for an impact of $11 billion. More than doubling in growth equates to a “booming” tourism industry, Ivey said.

“These are the kinds of results that have Alabama flying high,” Ivey said. “I leave you with this: as we head into the next four years, I assure you that you have a Governor who is 1000% committed to supporting the tourism industry and the work that each of you do.”

Ivey was addressing a gathering of tourism industry professionals and suppliers at the Governor’s Annual Tourism Conference, held this year at the University of Ottawa Hotel and Conference Center. Auburn.

Lee Sentell, who has worked as director of the Alabama Department of Tourism for the past 20 years, said Alabama’s industry has fared better than most states during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.

“In 2020, the domestic industry was down 45%. Alabama was down 20%,” Sentell said. “We were in the top five states with the fewest casualties. It’s because people discovered our state parks, beaches, and outdoor recreation, and they loved it so much they kept coming back.

According to the Alabama Tourism Economic Impact Report for 2021, that year saw a 26% increase in the number of visitors to the state, or 28.2 million people who spent $19.7 million. dollars. That year, the state’s 4% lodging tax sent $72.6 million to the General Fund. Overall, $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue was generated from travel and tourism activities, according to the report.

The tourism impact report for 2022 has yet to be released, but Sentell and Ivey were confident enough of the increased numbers to announce them publicly on Tuesday. Ivey also highlighted the start of the football season and how championship football has become a tourist attraction in the state.

“College football is upon us and all of our college towns are ready to welcome visitors back,” Ivey said. “Football in Alabama is a big thing and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

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