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For Immediate Release: June 3, 2011

Senator Scofield Passes Bill to Boost Alabama Tourism

MONTGOMERY- Today the Senate passed House Bill 188. The bill sponsored by Representative Elwyn Thomas (R-Oneonta)  is a companion to Senate Bill 153 sponsored by Senator Clay Scofield (R-Arab). The bill would require the Department of Agriculture and
Industries to regulate the agricultural tourist attractions in Alabama. “Boosting
Alabama tourism is a win-win situation, any move to improve our economy is beneficial,”
said Senator Scofield.

The bill will require the Department of Agriculture and Industries to both define
and approve agricultural tourist attractions. The attractions will have to provide
for their own application and annual renewal fees but in return will receive directional
signs, provided by the Department of Agriculture and Industries, to direct traffic
to and from their attraction.

The state regulation of directional signs to tourist attractions will allow for
an increased ease of access by having the signs clearly displayed and visible from
main and side roads. “Agricultural tourist attractions often have problems getting
tourists to their location because of poor sign placement and confusion on small
or country roads, this bill will fix those problems,” said Senator Scofield, who
chairs the Senate Tourism Committee.

Agriculture and Tourism are two of Alabama’s largest industries, both with an economic
impact exceeding $9 billion. This bill will combine those two industries thus providing
an economic boost to all of Alabama.

Many states have passed bills similar to House Bill 188 and Senate Bill 153 and
have experienced a noticeable increase in tourism within their state. More than
27 states have put in agricultural tourist signs, including Georgia, Florida, South
Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana. In 2006, more than 13 million
visitors flocked to Colorado which allowed for an additional $25 million in revenue
for the state. Alabama hopes to experience the same success.

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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For More Information Contact: Marshall County Legislative Office: ph. 256-582-0619

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