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Selma’s tourism good for visitors, residents

Selma’s tourism is booming, and everyone can help make it bigger.

That message came from Selma’s community development office on Monday. According to Patty Sexton, with the community development office, historic tourism is the second-biggest reason people visit Alabama. Visitors with history on the brain stay longer, visit twice as many sites and spend more than 2 1/2 times than other visitors, Sexton said.

That’s good news for all Selmians.

Visitors stay in our hotels, which brings the city its lodging tax. They spend money at our gas stations, retail stores and downtown businesses, which brings the city sales tax.

Those funds are used to enhance Selma’s tourism division as well as its roads, police and fire departments.

Money, though, can only go so far. If Selma’s tourism industry is to grow, it needs our help.

We can help our city by knowing as much as we can about it. Selma is often credited with having some of the nicest people in the state. We can also be the community that knows the most about what it has to offer.

Selma has four museums, Sturdivant Hall, the largest historic district in Alabama, the Alabama River, is within 12 miles of Alabama’s first capital, Cahawba, and an antebellum grist mill. It also is host to events such as Bridge Crossing Jubilee, the Battle of Selma, Riverfront Market Day and Pilgrimage.

It’s great to have visitors credit our community with politeness, but we also want them to praise us for our knowledge of Selma and Dallas County.

And with everyone behind Selma’s tourism industry, the story will only get better.