From the West Alabama Newsroom–

Tourism professionals from around the state are in Selma this week for the annual Alabama Welcome Center Retreat.

Tourism is a billion dollar industry in the state of Alabama.

Patti Culp is with the Alabama Travel Council. She says the retreat provides first-hand knowledge of the places — tourists may be interested in — when traveling through the state.

“We’ve moved the retreat all over the state. We’ve been to Huntsville, we’ve been to Mobile. And we’re touring the entire area of Selma. We’ll see everything that there is to see,” said Culp.

Wal Tourismretreat Pkg“This is their first time to visit Selma. And so, we’re excited that they chose a rural community to come and hold their conference,” Sheryl Smedley with the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.

Although Selma is not like any other rural community in Alabama.

No other city it’s size — has such an impressive array — of historic and cultural attractions.

The area is also known — for its hunting and fishing.

And wildlife tourism — has seen record numbers during the pandemic.

Pam Swanner is the Director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association.

“We have 80 percent of the hunting and fishing outfitters in the state of Alabama, right here in the Black Belt. And all of those talked about record numbers of people coming to hunt and fish,” said Swanner.

The Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism — and Alabama Black Belt Adventures hosted the retreat.

The event wraps up Tuesday.

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