After three straight years of increases in the numbers of visitors and the economical benefits associated, Baldwin County is obviously gaining in popularity. More people are visiting and spending more while they're here.
Over five million people visited the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2012 and spent $2.9 billion while visiting Baldwin County. That's an increase of over 4 million visitors and over $100 million since 2011; this year (2013) is slated to break these number and establish new record marks.
It's estimated the coastal cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL will generate an estimated $343 million in rentals this year, an increase from $323 million in 2012 and $280 million in 2011. These numbers were based from the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism figures, which also predict retail sales to eclipse $670 million in 2013.
"That's back-to-back record years, so how 'bout a big cheer for that," said Herb Malone, president and CEO of the tourism bureau, speaking at the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber's monthly breakfast meeting at Lulu's at Homeport Marina. Through August, both retail sales and rental revenue were up over six percent and occupancy rates increased in all four season's of the year. "Now what does all that tell you?" asked Malone. "More people, more guests have come to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach than ever before and they have spent more money in our economy - new money in our economy from the outside - than ever in the history.....South Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast." (Malone used these record-breaking numbers to outline the success experienced since the bureau's inception 20 years ago)
"We're celebrating 20 years of progress," Malone said. "I like to say that's it's really 20 years of success, and it's progress through partnerships." The sheer number of condominium units on the Gulf Coast has risen dramatically. Back in 1993 there were approximately 7,300 condos, hotels and other accommodations. The current count is approximately 16,00; there are twice as many now. For comparison sake, in 1993 lodging revenue was six times less at just over $60 million and retail sales were four times less at under $154 million.
One of the best decisions to grow tourism along the Alabama Gulf Coast has been the Sports Commission formed in 2007. This has been instrumental in stimulating the economy through the diversity it created. In the first year, there were 27 events hosted in South Baldwin County that generated 11,969 bookings and generated $3.4 million in visitor spending. In contrast, this year (2013) has seen 77 events hosted through September with over 67,000 bookings and over $25 million in spending. Another local benefit has been the advent of convention hosting. Through September, 182 conventions have been hosted generating 44,761 bookings.
Now that the commission and bureau have two decades of experience in their corner and they are forging ahead with a new marketing campaign, "It's a whole different state." This slogan is solidified with a variety of activities and a diversity along the coast that has not always existed. The evolution of the Gulf Coast and the sheer number of things to do while visiting the beaches suggest nothing other than growth and family enjoyment for millions and millions for years to come.
The beaches are not only being enjoyed by visitors, but also by its residents. For information on the beaches and neighboring communities and the real estate on which it sits, please visit our website dedicated to providing current and accurate real estate information. Click here for info on Gulf Shores and orange Beach condos for sale. Click here for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach homes for sale. Click here for info on property for sale on the Eastern Shore including Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, AL. All of the aforementioned information points to great investment opportunities on the Gulf Coast. We use professionals familiar with the Gulf Coast condo market as well as the residential market in South Baldwin County and on the Eastern Shore.