MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile City Council introduced and is set to vote on a performance contract with Visit Mobile for tourism in Africatown.
Mobile City Council introduced an almost $200,000 performance contract with Visit Mobile at Tuesday’s meeting to grow and develop tourism associated with Africatown and the discovery of the Clotilda. It will ultimatley bring a film to Gulfquest on the history of the two following a water tour.
David Clark, the President and CEO of Visit Mobile says they are expecting about 1 million visitors to the area for this every year once it comes to fruition. Clark said, “We are here to help collaborate to help tell their story. We think that this will be a catalyst for Africatown tourism sustainability to really develop Africatown and the rest of it will take care of itself.”
Visit Mobile is working closely with Mobile City Council and the Clotilda Descendants Association on this plan. The Descendants Association President Darron Patterson is excited about this opportunity, but wants to make sure in the end it is benefiting Africatown and those who made it to be. “It’s obviously exciting for the whole thing to happen. But now we have to be very careful on how we move forward. It’s important that what we do now benefits Africatown and it’s citizens.”
The second phase of the plan is for the water tour to ultimately pan for a permanent expansion into Africatown, Clark saying, “That could mean a lot of cool things like a marina built in Africatown so the water tour begins and ends there to a small village of authentic food and homes.”
The timeline for the start of the tours is set for late spring/early summer of next year. Mobile City Council is set to make a decision on the performance contract next Tuesday at their regularly scheduled meeting. It is expected to pass after the support shown in today’s meeting.