Twenty-eight million tourists spent a record $16.8 billion while vacationing in Alabama in 2019, thanks to the arrival of more than a million additional guests who spent a billion dollars more than tourists the previous year.
For the first time guests paid more than one billion dollars in taxes to state and local governments, dollars which saved the average state family an estimated $537 a year in taxes. With growth at nearly 8 percent, it was the third consecutive year that travel expenditures grew by more than a billion dollars.
The travel and hospitality industry employed more than 200,000 workers for the first time in 2019. The economic impact analysis using a model developed by Dr. Keivan Deravi demonstrated that some 140,705 direct jobs led to the creation of 67,918 additional or indirect jobs. The analysis said that every $119,237 in travel industry spending creates one direct job in Alabama.
The state’s tourists’ expenditures have grown by 85 percent in the decade since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, setting records during each of the succeeding nine years.