How will inflation affect Alabama tourism this summer?
Alabama has a big summer planned for tourists in 2022. But with gas, airfare, and food costs rising more and more due to inflation, travel to and within the state may not be as frequent as officials hoped.
COVID-19 slowed Alabama tourism down in 2020, but not as much as other states. Reports stated that Alabama’s tourism dollars dropped only half as much as the national average. In what was considered an off-year for tourism spending, tourists reportedly still spent $13.3 billion.
Now, in 2022, Alabama tourism faces a new threat in inflation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the past year, the all items Consumer Prince Index increased 8.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. The CPI measures the change in prices paid for goods and services by urban consumers, which is reportedly 93% of the population. This is the largest rise that the CPI has reported since December 1981.
Analysists report a 40% increase in domestic airfare prices since January, and gas prices were averaged over 4 dollars per gallon nationwide last month. The CPI also reported that Americans were paying almost 9% more for food in the past year. All of these elements make a trip to the World Games in Birmingham- one of the events that Alabama is counting on bringing in tourism revenue this Summer- an expensive one.
The Alabama Tourism Department is reportedly working on an attraction ticket bundle to entice tourists to visit more attractions and extend their stays in the state. The Africatown Heritage House Museum is planned to be complete in Spring of this year after some supply hiccups forced a delayed opening and construction schedule. These are two new elements to Alabama’s tourism landscape that may bring in more visitors.