2021 tourist tax revenues are already a record high
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism has released partial year tourism figures for 2021 and the numbers through August are higher than all of the prior record-setting year in 2019.
Taxable lodging revenues through August reached an all-time high of $668 million, higher than the total for all of 2019, the previous record-setting year. Taxable retail sales through August hit $1 billion for the first time, again higher than the prior record of $938 million for 2019.
For most of this year, occupancy levels for both hotels and vacation rentals have exceeded levels from both 2019 and 2020.
Summer is still the busiest tourist season on Pleasure Island, but in the past 18 months of people being able to work remotely allowed more flexibility to travel as destinations started opening back up to guests.”
According to last year’s Economic Impact Report by the Alabama Tourism Department, Baldwin County welcomed 6 million guests who spent $6 billion with area businesses and generated $2 billion in wages and salaries. When compared to the 2019 state report, the area had almost 900,000 fewer guests, but visitor spending jumped by $800,000.