BREAKING: Birmingham tourism generated a record $2.4B in 2022

The World Games 2022 Opening Ceremony (Nathan Watson)

Tourism in Birmingham has officially returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to an announcement from the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau today. 

$2.4 billion

According to the latest economic and visitor numbers, Alabama’s largest metro area generated a record $2.4 billion in economic impact for Jefferson County in 2022, matching the previous record set in 2019.

Greater Birmingham hosted 3.9 million overnight visitors in 2022, a 7% increase (that’s 300,000 extra guests!) over 2021. The total number of visitors is Birmingham’s highest since 2017.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The Kelly Hotel
The new Kelly Hotel in Birmingham. (Nathan Watson/ Bham Now)

Want more numbers? 

Total taxes generated for the state by tourism in Jefferson County were more than $183 million. Local governments received $100 million in taxes produced by area tourism.

The Greater Birmingham tourism industry also supported 51,000 full-time jobs – another record number in 2022 – generating $1.2 billion in resident income. The industry added 3,800 jobs between 2021 and 2022.

“Tourism is a leading contributor to our regional economy,” said John Oros, President and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These numbers demonstrate the impact travel and tourism has on all 35 municipalities across Jefferson County.”

A Destination

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Garth Brooks Stadium Tour 2022 (Bham Now)

The Magic City has become a destination for travelers throughout the country and the world. In 2022, the community hosted the first The World Games in the United States since 1981. 

This year, Birmingham is commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1963 civil rights and human rights campaigns and the pivotal events that occurred here that transformed the U.S. for the better.

A.G. Gaston Sign
Newly restored A.G. Gaston sign. (City of Birmingham)

In the coming years, Birmingham will welcome two additional global sporting events,  the “Transplant Games” in 2024 and the 2025 World Police and Fire Games

And of course, the city is a haven for food-lovers, ie. “foodies” — with numerous James Beard Award (the Oscars in the culinary world) winners and nominees.

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Pardis and Frank Stitt – Bottega Favorita (Bham Now)

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

Never Been Brighter

The 2022 travel and tourism data was generated through the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual economic impact study, conducted by Dr. Keivan Deravi, president of Montgomery-based Economic Research Services, Inc.

“The growth of the tourism industry in Jefferson County has been significant. Given the area’s rich culture and its magnificent assets, the future of the tourism industry in Jefferson County has never been brighter.”

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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