FLORENCE, Ala — When it comes to Alabama tourism, you may not think of the Shoals as your getaway spot of choice but the data says otherwise.
With the region's rich history of art and music, and the number of diverse locations nature has to offer, it's no surprise the importance tourism has on the Shoals and it's economy.
"Tourism, in terms of direct and indirect jobs, employs almost 3,000 in Lauderdale County alone and that would be well over probably 36—3,700 people within the Shoals area," said Rob Carnegie, president of the Florence-Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Carnegie said there are several attractions that distinguish the Shoals as a tourism destination. "Such as the Frank Loyd Wright home, the birthplace of Helen Keller, the birthplace of W.C. Handy, and just the waterfront, the River," said Carnegie.
With it being a new year, Carnegie says he's expecting continued growth in Shoals tourism because of media exposure from publications like web articles, metropolitan newspapers, and magazines.
"We're hoping to be able to track about $20 million in media value alone," said Carnegie. That's up from $18 million in 2019.
He adds that the bureau is always looking for ways to raise the bar when setting goals for a new travel season.