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The Alabama Tourism Department helps ensure that Alabama’s economy gains maximum benefits from tourism. More than 18 million travelers spent $6.5 billion in the state in 2002, supporting the jobs of 139,000 Alabamians.

The agency which now goes by the name of the Alabama Tourism Department was created in October 1951 by the legislative act as the Bureau of Publicity & Information. The name was amended and changed in May 1984 to Bureau of Tourism & Travel and changed again in 2010 to the present name.

The ATD, as mandated by the Legislature, is entitled with “exclusive power and authority to plan and conduct all state programs of information and publicity designed to attract tourists to the state of Alabama.” Its purpose is to promote travel to and through Alabama. It does this both nationally and internationally. ATD is funded by one-fourth of the 4 percent state lodgings tax collected by all hotels, motels, campgrounds and other accommodations. Alabama’s funding ranks 9th among the 12 Southern states.