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Tourism Makes Strong Gains On Alabama Coast

Gulf Shores, AL – Baldwin County officials say tourism was up significantly in June, 16 months after the BP oil spill devastated the area's beach tourism industry.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach tourism reported a record $54.7 million in lodging revenue in June.

Authorities say that's an 8.4 percent increase over June 2007, an extremely strong year which saw revenue of $50.4 million.

June's retail sales were $82.2 million, a 6.8 percent increase over June 2007.

Herb Malone, president and CEO of the tourism group, said early indicators based on July occupancy reports suggest the trend will continue.

The April 20, 2010, rig blast led to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from BP's well. It was capped in July 2010, and cleanup efforts continued for months.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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