The pros at Visit Tuscaloosa were named the best in the state at the Alabama Tourism Department's annual awards ceremony last month.

In a Friday press release, the agency said they were named the state's Tourism Organization of the Year for 2023 in recognition of the staff's efforts to see travel and tourism in the Tuscaloosa area rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.


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The well-deserved honor came last month during Governor Kay Ivey's Conference on Tourism in Point Clear.

According to a press release from the organization, visitors spent $895 million in Tuscaloosa County during the 2022 calendar year, a massive 19.5% increase from the previous year.

Hotel revenue was gauged by fiscal year ending in August and it also showed a 10.5 percent increase over FY2022.

Visit Tuscaloosa President and CEO Kelsey Rush credited her team and their daily efforts with other area partners to tell Tuscaloosa's stories and attract people to live, work, play, and visit here.

“I am beyond excited for Visit Tuscaloosa to be recognized with this prestigious award. Our team is passionate about sharing the spirit of Tuscaloosa County and work day-in and day-out to create a harmony of quality of place for our visitors and quality of life for our residents,” Rush said. “I am proud of our team and their efforts that led to this award, as well as the partners that help make Tuscaloosa the community that it is.”


Rush said last year, Visit Tuscaloosa hosted or contributed to 94 events, almost double the 55 events they touched in 2022. This year also saw the revival of Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week and their Tuscaloosa Oktoberfest 5K and beer festival is coming at the end of next month.

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