THE OFFICE OF GOV. KAY IVEY
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey spoke to members of Alabama’s tourism and hospitality industry Aug. 30 at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Auburn. During her speech, the governor recapped the remarkable year Alabama’s tourism industry experienced and shared her expectations for even more success in the near future and beyond.
Here are some highlights from the governor’s speech:
“Just a few short months ago in May, Director Sentell and I visited Conecuh Sausage,” Ivey said. “Now, while I did purchase some sausage to load up in my cooler, I was really there to announce Alabama’s record-breaking tourism numbers. I talked a bit about the momentum we were — and still are — experiencing as a state, despite the curveballs of the current economic climate and the last couple of years. Our economic development numbers for last year made 2021 the second-best year in our state’s history. Without a doubt, our tourism industry has been and continues to be a major contributor to that fact. While the national industry lost 42% of its revenue, Alabama ranked in the top five states for the least amount of revenue lost. To recap some of those numbers I shared back in May … Our tourists spent a record almost $20 billion. Alabama was the fourth most searched state, according to the U.S. Travel Association. As I said in May: We’re just getting started. Folks, today while I am among some of the best in the tourism industry, I want to share something I think all of you will be excited about, but you certainly won’t be surprised. Barring any unexpected downturns, director Sentell informs me that Alabama is on trajectory to exceed expectations. Based on the adjusted numbers, it looks like your industry is going to exceed 24 billion this calendar year. Twenty-four.
“I am proud to say that in the past 10 years, our industry has more than doubled. We have grown from $11 billion in 2013 to more than $24 billion this year. And since I have been governor, I am extremely proud that our tourism industry has grown by $10 billion. These are the kind of results that are taking Alabama flying at full speed ahead. I’ll leave you with this: As we head into the next four years, I assure you that you have a governor who is committed 1,000% to supporting the tourism industry and to the work that each and every one of you do.”