MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is expected to end years of record growth in Alabama's tourism revenues.
The Alabama Tourism Department says 28 million visitors spent nearly $17 billion in the state in 2019. It was the third straight year that travel spending grew by more than $1 billion in the state.
But state tourism director Lee Sentell says that streak will likely end because people are reducing travel during the pandemic. He says revenues this year could likely decline to as low as $14 billion.
The beaches of Baldwin County were the state's top moneymaker for tourism last year, but the coast is just now reopening after being shut down for weeks.