ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — The beaches aren’t as full anymore, and traffic is not as heavy. Summer 2022 is coming to an end. For Orange Beach, the summer season brought in revenue as tourists flocked to the beaches.

Even with economic challenges, Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said this has been a good summer and sales tax revenue reflects that.

“I think we have created a niche that is always to some degree buffer us from some of the worst-case scenarios of the economy,” said Kennon.

Tourists may have cut back on some of the vacation extras. “They may have not done one or two things out of 10 but have done the other eight,” said Kennon.

For those on the front lines of the tourist season that is good news. Live Bait Assistant Manager Ashley Johnson is seeing her fair share of customers.

“This summer there have been a ton of people,” said Johnson. “Even this week with school starting back there’s still a ton of people.”

The uptick in tourism isn’t in Orange Beach isn’t just helping locals. Orange Beach and Gulf Shores beaches help bring in revenue for the state. This year, Alabama is projected to rake in more than $21 billion from tourism.

In 2021, Alabama beaches saw a record number of tourists after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down operations. Hopefully, this upward trend for Orange Beach tourism continues for the Summer of 2023.

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