Alabama draws in record number of tourists

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - From the mountains in North Alabama to the Gulf Coast, Alabama has a lot to offer.

“Alabama is blessed that we have such great landscape and parks around the state,” said State Tourism Director Lee Sentell.

Sentell says Alabama’s variety of attractions is drawing people to the state in record numbers. Even throughout the pandemic, tourism stayed strong.

“In 2020, we were in the top six states in the country for the least loss,” Sentell added.

The biggest attraction is the state’s beaches.

“I think it’s the combination of 32 miles of sugar white sand beaches, but it’s also that small town vibe, that southern hospitality,” said Kay Maghan with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.

Maghan is among the many tourism leaders from across Alabama attending the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

“This is a great chance for tourism officials or people who work in tourism across the state to come together to really promote the state of Alabama,” Maghan said.

Sentell adds that promoting Alabama benefits the entire state no matter where tourists choose to visit.

“When people spend a night in the hotel, the first tax they pay is the 4% lodging, tax. Only one of those go to our industry, the other three go into the general fund. So tourists are now spending a billion dollars in taxes for state, local government,” he said.

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