Keeping Tourism Numbers Up in Montgomery
For many people, Montgomery is a tourism destination and city and county leaders are doing everything they can to keep people coming back to the Capitol City.
Darren Bater of Canada, is in Montgomery for only one day, mapping out all the places he wants to explore.
“The lady at the memorial said to me that Montgomery is kind of a secret that people like to keep because you want to protect it from too much exposure to ruin what it has but it has a lot of history,” says Bater.
Like many others visitors, he says it is too much to cram into one day, giving him a reason to come back to the Capitol City for more and that is something that county and city leaders want to see.
“Whether it be the second Saturday at riverfront, a ballgame, whether it be any of the museums, the zoo, or musical venue if people get out of the house they will find the best of Montgomery,” says Todd Strange.
Alabama Department of Tourism officials say Montgomery County is the 5th largest county in the state when it comes to tourists at hotels. Just last year officials say travelers spent $841 million dollars in the county. Tourists like Richard and Rosanne Abbott say those numbers are not surprising.
“We’re not big commercialism people that we want to go see the big fancy whatever-we’re more about what makes the people want to live here and what makes them proud of what they have,” says Richard Abbott.
“We try to look at the places that seem busy in the towns that we visit or the big cities so sometimes we’ll just go to where the locals go and drum up conversation,” says Rosanne Abbott.
Mayor Strange says it is all about impressions that the Capital City leaves on the visitors.
“If you’ve got a good experience at a particular venue you’re going to go back. You may not go back. You may not go back the next day but you might go back the next week or the next month,” says Strange.
Just last year, tourism officials say Montgomery ranked 8th in the most visited tourism attractions in Alabama with 246,000 tourists visiting the Montgomery Zoo.
The Alabama Department of Tourism reports that there about a 187,000 tourism jobs in Alabama. A little more than 6 and a half percent of those jobs are in Montgomery County.