Economic impact study shows record visitor spending, tax revenue and jobs generated in 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 13, 2023) – The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced that the tourism industry generated a record $2.4 billion in economic impact for Jefferson County in 2022, matching the previous record set in 2019 and signaling an official return to pre-pandemic travel.

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

“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.” Trending for additional growth Greater Birmingham hosted 3.9 million overnight visitors in 2022, a 7% increase over 2021, and the highest count since 2017.

2022 2021 2020
Visitor Spending $2.4 billion $2.2 billion $1.4 billion
Total Visitors 3.9 million 3.6 million 2.9 million
State Tax Revenue $183 million $163 million $105 million
Local Tax Revenue $100 million $90 million $58 million
Tourism Jobs 51,000 47,200 30,768

“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.”

Visitor spending patterns remained consistent year-over-year, with transportation topping the list. Dining remained the second-highest expenditure, followed by lodging, recreation and retail.

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 tourism industry is more than just higher hotel occupancies, ticket sales, average rates, average checks, and a source of new taxes – it’s about people and jobs,” said Oros. “This industry provides ladders of opportunity to those seeking a fulfilling career. And in today’s environment, high paying jobs and careers are available for those who have a sense of hospitality, service, and desire to take care of others.”

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.

Said Deravi, “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.”

“The Jefferson County tourism market is the second-largest market in Alabama,” he continued. “For perspective, it is four times the size of the initial investment by Mercedes-Benz and Honda in Alabama, and half the size of the impact that Hyundai and its suppliers have on the entire state.”

According to the study, visitors to Jefferson County represent 14% of the total travelers to Alabama, ranking Greater Birmingham as the second-largest market for tourism in the state.

Nationally, the travel and tourism industry creates 16 million jobs and generates more than $2 trillion annually, representing 7.9% of the American economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.


About the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the official tourism and marketing organization for Birmingham and Jefferson County. Established in 1969, the non-profit agency generates positive economic impact by positioning the greater Birmingham area as a premier destination for conventions, sporting events, and domestic and international leisure travel. Named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “22 Best Places to Go in 2022,” Birmingham and its neighboring municipalities welcome more than 3.9 million visitors each year, generating $2.4 billion in economic impact. Learn more at