Tourism Trouble? Montgomery Snubbed by USA Today Article

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By Ashley Thompson

Even though much of the Civil Rights Movement took place in Montgomery -- USA Today didn't even list Montgomery in its Top 10 list of cities where Black History comes alive.

USA Today released a list of the 10 best places where black history comes alive. Birmingham is on the list but Montgomery is not. Dawn Hathcock with the Convention and Visitors Bureau says she was surprised and disappointed when she saw the list.

"We immediately called and started tracking down the writer to invite him to Montgomery to let him know that we have a lot of history here."

The Alabama Department of Tourism just released a list of its own listing the top ten free and paid attractions for 2013. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is one of the most visited paid attractions, while Montgomery's Civil Rights Memorial is a top free attraction. So is Montgomery missing out on tourist dollars? Brian Jones with the Department of Tourism says he doesn't think so.

"Montgomery is fortunate in that they have such a concentration, especially downtown and you start thinking of attractions, you think of Rosa Parks Museum, the Civil Rights Museum."

The Civil Rights Memorial pulls in hundreds of tourists every day. We caught two from Michigan on their first visit to Montgomery.

"It's very moving, very powerful," says Tom Lufkin. "You can't help but cry."

"I think it's amazing and very moving," says Elaine Lufkin.

And although the Civil Rights Memorial isn't making much off of it's visitors, Operations Coordinator Kory Ward says it's not about the money."

"It's not important as far as, you can't put a price on this type of education that they get here in the center."

So what can Montgomery do to attract more tourists and tourism money?

"It's hard to say," says Hathcock. "We have so much history here and that is the crux of who we are so it really is important."

 

However Montgomery is making money off of the Montgomery Zoo, which came in at number 7 on the list of paid attractions in the state.

Click the following link for the USA Today article. 

 http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/10greatplaces/2014/02/13/black-history-african-american-museum/5453527/



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