Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tourism Here

Alabama tourism and travel-related spending hit a record $8.3 billion in 2006, state figures show.

That figure, which includes people traveling more than 100 miles to stay in hotels overnight or visit state attractions and other destinations, jumped 10 percent from nearly $7.6 billion spent the previous year, far above the 3 percent increase reported in 2005, said Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel.

Alabama is one of just a few states to report higher tourism-related spending each of the past five years, Sentell said, noting that many states saw tourism slumps after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

An estimated 22.3 million people visited Alabama last year, up 500,000 from 2005.

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