State Tourism Conference Wraps Up

U.S. Space and Rocket Center, in Huntsville, was Alabama’s top tourist attraction in 2018, with 849,981 visitors.

Attendees at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism being held through Tuesday in downtown Huntsville have a full slate of speakers, as well as a pile of awards to be presented.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the National Travel and Tourism Office Phil Lovas is the headliner, set to give an update on key policy issues of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Mike Elkins, president of Unclaimed Baggage Center, was also on the schedule, providing an inside look at successful practices for training within organizations, and Coca-Cola executive Andy Britton was to discuss how to get sponsorship support for local events and festivals.

“More than 215 tourism professionals from across the state will be attending this three-day educational conference,” said state tourism director Lee Sentell. “This is our opportunity to bring in experts to present the latest trends in tourism marketing. Tourism is a $15.5 billion industry in Alabama, and it has grown $1.2 billion over the previous year,” he said.

The staff of the Alabama Tourism Department presented an annual update Sunday afternoon on their current and upcoming marketing campaigns.

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Seventeen tourism awards will be presented at the awards banquet Monday evening. The awards presentation will be live streamed at 7 p.m. at

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