2017 sets another record-breaking year for travel in Madison County

Traveler spending increases 9.2% over 2016



May 23, 2018


(Huntsville, AL) – The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), along with the Alabama Tourism Department, released 2017 economic impact data for the travel industry on both the state and local level. 2017 saw the economic impact of travel and tourism to Madison County reach its highest levels ever, providing over 16,400 jobs and an economic impact of nearly $1.3 billion in Madison County alone. Those figures, as reported by the Alabama Tourism Department, represent a 9.2% increase in traveler spending on hotels, restaurants, shopping and transportation.


“Travel and tourism to Madison County is big business,” CVB President/CEO Judy Ryals said. “It directly impacts the pocketbooks of local residents, and we’re excited to release this information, especially since 2017 was yet another record-breaking year for economic impact. We are proud of how the travel and tourism industry supports local jobs, and we are honored to serve the roughly 3.1 million visitors that traveled to Huntsville/Madison County over the past year.”


The Alabama travel industry grew by $1 billion in 2017 to a record of $14.3 billion in expenditures, and increased jobs by 7,399 to some 186,906 employees, Gov. Kay Ivey announced today. She noted that the industry grew by 7% and attracted an additional 810,000 visitors to top 26 million guests for the first time.


“Every part of the state saw dramatic growth, from the mountains of the Tennessee Valley to the beaches along the Gulf Coast," the governor said. “Most communities generated more revenue and gained jobs through meetings, conventions, sporting events, visits to museums and other tourist attractions. The larger counties which have invested in sporting venues have seen an increase in the number of youth teams arriving from outside the immediate area for tournaments,” she said.


The release of this news follows closely behind National Travel and Tourism Week, observed this year May 6-12. To celebrate, the CVB hosted its annual Tourism Summit at the Von Braun Center on May 3. The Tourism Summit is a state of the industry update and professional development seminar for hotel, restaurant, attraction and quality of life influencers in Huntsville/Madison County.


Attendees heard from this year’s keynote speaker, Darienne Mobley, about the importance of customer service and other keys for success in the hospitality profession. Mobley has served as the Director of Tourism for Mississippi and Louisiana before starting her company, Darienne, Inc., in 2006.


For more information, contact Kristen Pepper, CVB Marketing Manager at 256.551.2294 or