Alabama’s travel industry survived pandemic better than 45 other states

For Immediate Release


April 22, 2021


Alabama’s travel industry survived pandemic better than 45 other states


(Montgomery, AL) Robust spending by tourists at Alabama beaches in 2020 allowed the state to rank in the top five in the nation for the smallest percentage drop in travel expenditures during the international pandemic, Alabama Tourism Department board chair Judy Ryals of Huntsville says.

The amount of tourism dollars spent in Alabama dropped 20 percent compared to the previous year, versus a nationwide average drop of 42 percent, according to Travel Economics. Expenditures in Baldwin County, home to most of Alabama’s beach accommodations, slipped only 6 percent.

“Baldwin County’s success is all the more remarkable when you factor in that the beaches were closed for six weeks in the spring and one week due to a hurricane in the fall,” Ryals said. She credited the decision by Gov. Kay Ivey to reopen the beaches last May 1 in mitigating the losses.

Overall, visitors to Alabama spent $13.3 billion for food, accommodations, travel, shopping and incidentals, according to the Alabama Tourism Department. Guests paid more than $890 million dollars in taxes to state and local governments. Those taxes saved the average state family an estimated $427 a year in taxes for services, officials said.

Alabama has experienced the largest growth in travel search activity since 2019, rising 24 spots to number 6 nationwide, according to a recent Google study by Trips to Discover.

For more information about the Alabama Tourism Department, or to view the economic impact report, please visit


The Alabama Tourism Department has won top national and regional awards from World Travel Market: London, United States Travel Association, National Council of State Tourism Directors, Travel Weekly magazine, the Southeast Tourism Society and the Southern Public Relations Federation for its tourism marketing campaigns. As a result, more than 29 million travelers spent over $18 billion in the state in 2019. For more information, please visit: www.Alabama.Travel


Contact: Andi Martin, Public Relations Manager

Alabama Tourism Department, 334-242-4537