The secret is revealed: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach’s most visited attraction in 2020
By Melanie LeCroy / [email protected]
Every year, millions of visitors make their way to the sugar white sands and tranquil blue waters of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. During the pandemic, when many sites were closed and families were working and studying from home, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were the most visited tourist attraction in the state of Alabama. According to state officials, 6.1 million people have visited our coasts.
A few other attractions in our region have also been recognized. The USS Alabama was sixth on the paid attractions list with 188,652 visitors and Bellingrath Gardens and Home finished seventh with 119,932 visitors in 2020. The 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center ranked fifth in the Free Attractions category with 45,000 visitors in 2020.
Our region also had some of the top 10 events in 2020. Before the pandemic began, over 1.2 million people attended Mobile Mardi Gras, making it the most popular event of 2020. Fairhope’s 32nd The annual Jubilee Festival came third while the Orange Beach Art Festival was sixth.
The Department of Tourism’s 2020 “Year of” campaign focused on Alabama’s natural wonders, highlighting some of the state’s unique landscape features, including Gulf beaches, Mount Cheaha, and the Caves of the State. cathedral. Visitors experienced each of these points of interest in one of Alabama’s state parks, where they are protected public lands.
“We know that our parks offer some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world,” said Greg Lein, Director of National Parks. “We are also proud that our parks offer activities and attractions that promote safe recreation while promoting social distance. It’s a unique blend that is why so many people visited the parks in 2020, and we hope that continues into 2021 and beyond.
The Alabama Department of Tourism works to inspire consumers and facilitate travel to and within Alabama while leveraging increased private sector participation. An appointed council of industry advisers connects the department with tourism businesses and organizations across the state. Tourism is a key sector of the state’s economy, historically attracting 28 million tourists who spend $ 16.8 billion on leisure and hospitality sales and employing more than 200,000 full and full-time workers. partial. Industry accounts for 7% of Alabama’s private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generate more than $ 1 billion in state tax revenue.