County tourism dips in 2001
Record Managing Editor
Tourism in Madison County in 2001 was down by 1.4 percent over the previous year with tourists spending more than $529.8 million.
Kathy Beasley of the North Alabama Tourism Association said 6,917 local employees in tourism industries earned $188,089,425 in 2001, a 1 percent decrease over the previous year. Madison County took in more than $529.8 million in tourist dollars in 2001 and more than $537.2 million in 2000. The figures include revenue from attractions, hotels, restaurants and gasoline sales.
Lodging tax in Madison County in 2001 generated more than $2.5 million. Statewide, Alabama experienced a 2 percent increase in tourism in 2001. Tourism generated $6.1 billion for Alabama in 2001 and created more than 138,000 jobs. In North Alabama, 25,000 people were employed in the tourism industry, which brought in $1.125 billion for the area.
Beasley said attractions such as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center continues to be Madison County's and one of Alabama's largest tourist attractions.
Final figures for 2002 tourism will be available in May during National Tourism Week that begins May 5.