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AMLA names North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals in FC

Three individuals from Franklin County have been named North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals: Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher and Lorie and Brent Collum, owners of Fourth Street Grill in Red Bay.

North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals is a program of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association wherein tourism employees demonstrating outstanding customer service and hospitality in the 16-county north Alabama region are recognized in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week.

According to information provided by the AMLA, Fancher and the Collums were named North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals for their contributions to the tourism industry. Each recipient was presented with a Walmart gift card from AMLA representatives.

May was National Tourism Month, and the North Alabama Elite Tourism Professional recognition was part of the 36th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, which united communities across the country to celebrate how travel matters to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. National Travel and Tourism Week was celebrated May 5-11 on a theme of “Travel Matters,” a recognition of the innumerable ways in which travel enriches lives and strengthens communities.

“The North Alabama Elite Tourism Professional award recognizes those members who go above and beyond in their service, involvement and engagement with visitors to the north Alabama region,” explained AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. “North Alabama’s travel and tourism industry is seeing tremendous economic impacts and growth in job numbers as a direct result of these industry leaders’ commitment to enhancing the travel and tourism experience. I am proud to have them as part of the North Alabama tourism team and to present them with this prestigious honor.”

According to AMLA statistics, travel generated $15.5 billion for Alabama’s economy in 2018, supporting more than 198,000 American jobs. In north Alabama, the travel industry generated $2.93 billion in tourist expenditures, supporting more than 35,000 jobs.

In 2018, more than $954 million of state and local tax revenues were generated by travel and tourism activities. Without those taxes, Reist said, each household in Alabama would have had to pay $507 in additional taxes to maintain current service levels.