Alabama adds $1 billion in tourism growth

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center was the most visited paid attraction in the state in 2017.
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center was the most visited paid attraction in the state in 2017.

Almost 86,000 more people visited Madison County in 2017 compared to 2016.

Posted: May 23, 2018 7:56 AM

The tourism industry in Alabama brought in an additional $1 billion in 2017, according to the governor's office.

On Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey announced that from 2016 to 2017, the industry grew by seven percent and brought 810,000 more visitors to the state.

Top 10 Paid Admission Attractions

  1. U.S. Space and Rocket Center - Huntsville
  2. Birmingham Zoo - Birmingham
  3. Huntsville Botanical Garden - Huntsville
  4. McWane Science Center - Birmingham
  5. Barber Vintage Motorsports Park - Birmingham
  6. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park - Mobile
  7. Point Mallard Park - Decatur
  8. Montgomery Zoo - Montgomery
  9. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - Gulf Shores
  10. EarlyWorks Family of Museums - Huntsville

According to a report from the Alabama Tourism Department, Madison County was a big contributor to that growth.

The county hosts three of the top ten most visited paid tourist attractions in the state with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center sitting at number one.

The Center saw 786,820 visitors in 2017 compared to 657,692 in 2016.

Madison County was also among the five most visited counties in the state, which include Baldwin, Jefferson, Mobile and Montgomery. Altogether, the five accounted for 68 percent of all visitors to the state in 2017.

In its report, the tourism department touts the more than $879 million in state and local tax revenues that were generated by tourism in 2017.

They estimate that without this revenue, "each household in Alabama would have had to pay $467 in additional taxes to maintain current service levels."

Madison County also saw "an increase of 85,728 visitors, [which] yielded a total of 3.1 million guests who spent $1.3 billion for a 9.8 percent increase."

To read the tourism department's complete report, click here.

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