Mobile City Council approves Africatown tourism contract

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile City Council on Tuesday approved a $190,000 contract to grow and develop tourism related to the discovery of the Clotilda.

The Clotilda was the last known slave ship to arrive in the U.S. The ship was burned in 1860 to hide the evidence of the illegal activity. The survivors of the ship founded Mobile’s Africatown community.

The discovery of the Clotilda in 2018 was the focus of a recent 60 Minutes episode, which put Africatown in the national spotlight.

On Tuesday, City Councilman C.J. Small spoke in favor of the tourism contract, saying the 60 Minutes episode generated a lot of interest and that many people would be looking to visit Africatown once the pandemic subsides.

Visit Mobile’s CEO last week said he expects one million visitors a year once water tours are up and running. The water tours will take people up the Mobile River to see the site where the Clotilda was discovered.

Also in the works is a film about Africatown and the Clotilda that would run at the GulfQuest museum.

Visit Mobile hopes to have the film and the water tours ready by the summer of 2021.

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