Tourism adds to Montgomery's pot of gold, according to 2013 data - Montgomery Alabama news.

Tourism adds to Montgomery's pot of gold, according to 2013 data

Photo Source: Ellenann Yelverton 7/9/2013 Photo Source: Ellenann Yelverton 7/9/2013

Maybe the rainbows over Montgomery last July were a sign of the pot of gold to come. The Alabama Tourism Department says tourism to Alabama's capital city and county is booming, up more than 8 percent in 2013. Travelers spent more than $660 million dollars in Montgomery County in 2013, according to new data.

Visitors spent their money on hotels, restaurants, retail and transportation, helping to create and sustain some 11,000 jobs. Tourism officials say for every $98,000 in travel spending, one direct new job was created. For every two direct jobs created, the state economy indirectly created an additional job.

Statewide, Montgomery County ranked fifth in travel-related dollars pulled in. Baldwin County was first with $3.2 billion, followed by Jefferson County ($1.6 billion), Madison County ($997 million) and Mobile County ($916 million).

Tourism experts say the statewide tourism industry grew by 3 percent in 2013, with more than 24 million visitors giving the state a lift to the tune of $11 billion.

"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.

When looking at the state's tourism industry over the last decade, a study by Auburn Montgomery shows an increase of more than 50 percent.

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