Egret by the ocean in Orange Beach. Photo by Max Hartshorne.
Egret by the ocean in Orange Beach. Photos by Max Hartshorne.

Despite tough economic times, visitors and locals alike are flocking to Alabama’s beaches. Lodging revenue increased 34.5 percent from July 2007, rising from $51.9 million to $69.8 million. Retail sales increased 17.9 percent from $80.4 million in July 2007 to $94.8 million in July 2011, according to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (CVB).

“The Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan areas had a phenomenal July, and we are extremely grateful to all of the families that choose to spend their vacations along our white-sand beaches,” said Herb Malone, CEO of the CVB. “These numbers also show the tremendous growth that our area has seen in comparison to 2007, which is a testament to the united, synergistic effort among our tourism industry, government leaders and community.”

Alabama’s white-sand beaches offer a picturesque getaway close to home for the region’s inhabitants. According to CVB’s spring 2011 statistics, the majority of visitors, 41%, came from the Southeast. Alabama visitors accounted for 37.2%.

The city of Gulf Shores in the north-central region of the Gulf of Mexico boasts miles of beaches and a rich Civil War history, including Fort Morgan, site of the Mobile Bay battle. Orange Beach is located nearby.

More than 40,000 of Alabama’s Baldwin County residents are employed in travel-related jobs.

A storm approaches in Orange Beach.
A storm approaches in Orange Beach.

Want to go out and see what the fuss is all about with your own eyes? Check out these sites for more information.

Alabama Tourism

Gulf Shores

City of Orange Beach

To read more stories about Alabama, visit GoNOMAD

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