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DECATUR, Ala. – Despite facing a 14 percent drop in tourism spending over the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Morgan County is beginning to rebound.

“Just last weekend we were sold out, both hotels, so to be able to say that again is a wonderful feeling,” said Tammy Harper, director of sales for the Residence Inn by Marriott Decatur.

The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic drew thousands of spectators to the area over the Memorial Day weekend. As tourism has rebounded in the last few months, the heightened demand has created a new challenge for the industry, staffing.

“It’s getting much better now. There for a little while they were kind of running on skeleton crews, both the hotels and the restaurants, but I will say really the owners of all of the businesses and the general managers that look over all of the hotels, have really done whatever it takes to keep up with the demand of things,” said Danielle Gibson, president and CEO of Decatur Morgan County Tourism.

Next week, both the Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott in Decatur say they’re looking forward to another boost in business. The return of The President’s Cup, a major youth soccer tournament to Decatur, has both of their properties sold out.