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Tourism Generates Record $2.52 Billion and 51,550 Jobs for Greater Birmingham Region

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In 2023, the Greater Birmingham tourism industry provided $2.52 billion in economic impact, supported 51,550 jobs, and contributed $296 million in state and local taxes. These figures surpass all previous levels of impact generated by tourism in Jefferson County. (Adobe Stock)

inBirmingham

Tourism provided a record level of impact for Jefferson County last year, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) announced today, at an event celebrating U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel & Tourism Week.

In 2023, the Greater Birmingham tourism industry provided $2.52 billion in economic impact, supported 51,550 jobs, and contributed $296 million in state and local taxes. These figures surpass all previous levels of impact generated by tourism in Jefferson County.

“Tourism is a leading contributor to our regional economy,” said John Oros, President and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It is the common thread that impacts and unites all of our 34 municipalities across Jefferson County.”

Greater Birmingham hosted 3.96 million overnight visitors in 2023, a 4.5% increase over 2022, and the highest count since 2017.

“2023 was a busy and exciting year for our region,” added Oros. “Major events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, annual meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists, new Food + Culture festival, and 60th commemoration of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement delivered significant new impact; and, visitor attendance at our acclaimed annual events like the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix, SEC Baseball Tournament, Magic City Classic and Ticketsmarter Birmingham Bowl returned to pre-pandemic numbers.”

Key results of the 2023 economic impact study include:

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Visitor Spending $2.52 billion $2.4 billion $2.2 billion $1.4 billion $2.4 billion
Total Visitors 3.96 million 3.9 million 3.6 million 2.9 million 3.6 million
State Tax Revenue $191 million $183 million $163 million $105 million $109 million
Local Tax Revenue $105 million $100 million $90 million $58 million $61 million
Tourism Jobs 51,550 51,000 47,200 30,768 33,000

Taxes generated for the state by tourism in Jefferson County totaled more than $191 million, while local government received $105 million in 2023.

The Greater Birmingham tourism industry also supported 51,550 full-time jobs, generating $1.27 billion in resident income and representing 1-in-10 jobs in Jefferson County.

Visitor spending patterns remained consistent year-over-year, with transportation topping the list. Dining remained the second-highest expenditure, followed by lodging, recreation and retail.

The GBCVB’s annual economic impact report provides measurable impact data and insights that demonstrate the significance of the travel industry to the Jefferson County economy. The study is conducted by Dr. Keivan Deravi, president of Montgomery-based Economic Research Services, Inc.

According to the study, visitors to Jefferson County represent 14 percent of the total travelers to Alabama, ranking Greater Birmingham as the second-largest market for tourism in the state.

“Birmingham is more popular than ever as a destination for business, leisure and sports travel,” concluded Oros. “Visitors to our region enjoy first-class facilities, rich history, world-class dining and shopping, and a wide-range of entertainment options.”

In the United States, the travel and tourism industry created 18 million jobs and generated more than $2.36 trillion representing 9.1 percent of the American economy in 2023, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the official tourism and marketing organization for Birmingham and Jefferson County. Birmingham and its neighboring municipalities welcome more than 3.96 million visitors each year, generating $2.52 billion in economic impact. Learn more at inbirmingham.com.