The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 8, 2014

2013 tourists/travelers spent $109M in Limestone

— Travelers spent $109 million and were responsible for 1,400 jobs last year in Limestone County, according to preliminary estimates from the Alabama Tourism Department. This represents a 7.9 percent increase in travel spending over the previous year.

The report showed travelers spent money on hotels, restaurants, retail purchases and transportation and that for every $98,170 in travel industry spent, one direct job in Alabama was created. Additionally for every two direct jobs created, the state's economy indirectly creates one additional job.

“The tourism numbers for 2013 bring great economic news for Alabama,” said state Tourism Director Lee Sentell. “The dollars spent on tourism creates jobs, grows local economies and generates needed tax revenue.

“Without the dollars collected by the tourism industry, each household in the state would end up paying almost $400 in additional taxes.”

Estimates showed that statewide the tourism industry grew by 3 percent with more than 24 million visitors providing an economic impact of $11 billion in 2013. Over the 10-year-period from 2003-13, travel spending in Alabama increased 51 percent according to the report conducted by Auburn University-Montgomery. 

The top five counties with the largest travel-related expenditures are: Baldwin County with $3.2 billion in travel-related spending; Jefferson County, $1.6 billion; Madison County, $997 million; Mobile County, $916 million; and Montgomery County, $661 million.

The complete state tourism economic impact report will be available in early April.

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