Business is booming on Alabama's coast despite the negative effects of the BP oil spill. Tuesday, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism released figures showing a boom in tourism.
July set a tourism record on Alabama's white-sand beaches. More than $69.8 million was collected in lodging revenue during the month. That's a 34.5 percent increase over July 2007 - a benchmark of its own - when $51.9 million flowed in.
Officials say gross retails sales for July 2011 were $94.8 million, an increase of 17.9 percent over July 2007 sales of $80.4 million.
"The Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan areas had a phenomenal July, and we are extremely grateful to all of the families that choose to spend their vacations along our white-sand beaches," said Herb Malone, president/CEO of the CVB.
"These numbers also show the tremendous growth that our area has seen in comparison to 2007, which is a testament to the united, synergistic effort among our tourism industry, government leaders and community," Malone added.
August lodging and retail tax figures are not yet available.
SOURCE: GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH TOURISM