Study: Travelers spent $13 billion in Alabama in 2016

Fourth of July weekend in Gulf Shores on July 3rd, 2016.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A report says travelers spent more than $13 billion in Alabama last year.

The study was conducted for the state tourism agency by an economist at Auburn University Montgomery. It says more than 25 million travelers spent a total of $13.4 billion in the state in 2016 on hotels, shopping, transportation and restaurants.

The number represents an increase of 5.4 percent from the year before. Tourism Director Lee Sentell says travel spending has doubled in the state over the last 14 years.

“The tourism numbers for 2016 bring great economic news for Alabama,” Sentell said.  “The dollars spent on tourism creates jobs, it grows local economies and generates needed tax revenues. Travel spending in Alabama has doubled over the previous 14 years.”

The report says the spending was responsible for about 180,000 jobs statewide last year.

Baldwin County with its beaches leads the state in travel spending at $4.2 billion. The state’s population centers of Jefferson, Madison, Mobile and Montgomery counties are next with Mobile bringing in $1.1 billion.

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