HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Travelers spent $997 million and were responsible for 14,255 jobs last year in Madison County, according to preliminary estimates from the Alabama Tourism Department. Travel spending figures for the previous year were $1.03 billion.
The report showed travelers spent money on hotels, restaurants, retail purchases and transportation with every $98,170 in travel industry spending creating one direct job in Alabama. Additionally for every two direct jobs created, the state's economy indirectly creates one additional job.
“The tourism numbers for 2013 bring great economic news for Alabama. The dollars spent on tourism creates jobs, it grows local economies and generates needed tax revenues. Without the dollars collected by the tourism industry, each household in the state would end up paying almost $400 in additional taxes,” state tourism director Lee Sentell said.
Estimates showed statewide, the tourism industry grew by 3 percent, with more than 24,000,000 visitors providing an economic impact of $11 billion in 2013. Over the 10-year-period from 2003 to 2013, travel spending in Alabama has increased 51 percent, according to the report conducted by Auburn University Montgomery.
The top five counties with the largest travel-related expenditures are:
- First Place: Baldwin County with $3.2 billion in travel-related spending
- Second Place: Jefferson County with $1.6 billion
- Third Place: Madison County at $997 million
- Fourth Place: Mobile County with more than $916 million
- Fifth Place: Montgomery County with $661 million
The complete state tourism economic impact report will be available in early April.