Convention and Visitors Bureau: More tourists in Birmingham this Summer

The welcome mat is out in the Magic City. Birmingham hotels have booked an extra 30,000 rooms within the last three months, compared to the same time period last year.The Convention and Visitors Bureau believes marketing and newer attractions made the difference. "We've got 20 rooms here. We've got another probably 30 rooms over at the Sheraton and we're guessing somewhere in about 180 people," said Calvin Hudson, part of the Green-Carwood family reunion gathering this weekend in the Magic City. "We have family coming in here from, I'm from Connecticut obviously, from Florida, from Texas, from Michigan, from all over the country to reconnect and reconnect with our roots," added Hudson.Visitors like Hudson make Sara Hamlin smile. The Vice President of Tourism at the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor's Bureau knows the city's plans are working."A lot of people are taking advantage of the wonderful amenities that we have: Barons and Railroad park, the Birmingham Zoo, Botanical Gardens, the Civil Rights District. We have so many wonderful things to offer as well as the events," said Hamlin.The Magic City has already seen 30,000 extra visitors this summer, compared to the same time last year. Hamlin believes promotions are drawing the larger crowds, "Social media is certainly popular and the word of mouth of Facebook and people sharing the information of what's going on in Birmingham. We continue to promote Birmingham via radio, media outlets in terms of newspapers as well so, I think it's more of the Grassroots with that IN Birmingham campaign."From uptown Birmingham, to the ballpark, to the local breweries, each attraction is also helping market the city.For instance, Good People Brewing Company distributes its beer across the southeastern United States and encourages drinkers to come see where it's made. "We're really trying to get out here and get people engaged in our product and by extension, show them the cool things going on in Birmingham cause{} a lot of our posts are not just about our product but about our community," said Joseph Baker with the brewery.Last year, more than four million people visited the magic city. They spent close to one and a half billion dollars.There are more events to come this Summer. One of the biggies: Schafer Eye Center City Fest is coming up July 26th. {}Another fun one coming up is Birmingham's Restaurant Week in late August.
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