UA Center Concludes West Alabama Tourism Project

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development has completed a two-phase project funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission to develop and expand tourism — particularly international tourism — in West Alabama. 

The project spanned  17 months and involved research, capacity building, strategic planning and development of marketing collateral for the seven-county area of West Alabama. The team focused on several activities to boost international travel, including participating in both domestic and international tour visits.

West Alabama was represented at the Travel South International Showcase, where team members met with 35 tour operators and travel writers from North America. A three-day itinerary of West Alabama was generated that included touring 15 destinations that are of interest to international explorers. 

A mixed group of organizations worked to identify the wide-ranging selection of historical, cultural and natural tourism opportunities in the area. A delegation from West Alabama joined the 2016 Legislative Tourism Bash in Montgomery earlier this year and communicated with Alabama legislators on issues that have a direct effect on tourism. Team members also developed tour itineraries and promotional videos to highlight destinations in each county.

Additionally, a regional website and a logo were developed to showcase the itineraries of the attractions and events in West Alabama.  To market the region worldwide, the website ( was upgraded with digital brochure download capabilities to enable tour operators to share data with their international clients.

The West Alabama area is comprised of Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties.

The UA center is part of the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782