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Study finds that tourism revenue in Alabama took a leap in 2016

John Kemper of Fairhope, Mike Robichaux and Ali Robichaux of Ruston, La. and Trinity Stanley of Homer, La. relax at Fort Morgan. Tourists have come back in record numbers since the 2010 oil spill. (Robert DeWitt/Alabama NewsCenter)

According to a study by an economist at Auburn University Montgomery, the state of Alabama saw a more than five percent increase in revenue from tourism last year. The study was conducted on behalf of the state tourism agency, and it finds that tourists spent north of $13.4 billion in the state last year.

These numbers include spending on hotels, shopping, transportation, and restaurants. It is a 5.4 percent jump from 2015.

Related: Stain of BP oil spill long gone from Alabama’s Gulf Coast as tourism booms

To no surprise, Baldwin County leads in the most spent on travel at $4.2 billion, according to the research. Following Baldwin are the counties of Jefferson, Madison, Mobile and Montgomery. Alabama Tourism Department director Lee Sentell says the amount spent by travelers in Alabama has doubled over the last 14 years.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the study was the finding that the money spent by tourists was responsible for creating around 180,000 jobs.

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