Alabama reaches new high in tourism dollars
Despite a wet July, Baldwin County added 82,238 guests for a total of 6.4 million guests who spent a record $4.4 billion, helping the Alabama travel industry grew by $1 billion in 2017, according to a according to a recent press release from Gov. Kay Ivey. Baldwin’s numbers represented an increase of 5.5 percent in tourism dollars from 2016.
The industry grew by 7 percent and attracted an additional 810,000 visitors to top 26 million guests for the first time in state history.
Jefferson County’s hospitality industry grew by a record 9.8 percent and 148,498 tourists. About 3.3 million total visitors helped Jefferson County cross the $2 billion mark in tourist spending for the first time. In Madison County, an increase of 85,728 visitors yielded a total of 3.1 million guests who spent $1.3 billion for a 9.8 percent increase. In Mobile County, tourism grew by 8 percent. An additional 178,770 visitors meant a total of 3.4 million guests who spent $1.2 billon. Montgomery County, which ranked fifth, added 8,940 guests for a 3.3 percent increase in tourist spending. The city had just under two million visitors who spent $841 million, according to a study by Montgomery economist Dr. Keivan Deravi.
Every part of the state saw dramatic growth, from the beautiful mountains of the Tennessee Valley to the stunning white sand beaches along the Gulf Coast,” Governor Ivey said. “Most communities generated more revenue and gained jobs through hosting meetings, conventions, sporting events and visits to museums, among other attractions. These gains were especially seen in those areas which have invested in sporting venues which attract youth sports tournaments