University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

October 2, 2006
Contact: Jessica Ross, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA Professor is Awarded Tourism Grant

Dr. Semoon Chang, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business, has been awarded an $18,000 grant from the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau to collect and analyze data on tourism along the Gulf Coast.

Chang’s research examines the tourism trends at several local attractions including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Gulf Coast Exploreum and IMAX Domed Theater, Mobile Museum of Art, and The Museum of Mobile. The research not only examines attendance at area attractions, but it also provides information on city and county sales tax revenue, lodging tax collections, local employment trend, Mobile home sales, and other local data of public interest.

“The potential economic impact of the research for this area is huge, and the best part is that the data are available to everyone free of charge on the Internet,” said Chang, a professor of economics and finance at USA. “By placing the information on the Internet, potential visitors or businesses can learn about our area before they arrive.”

Data from this year’s research and previous years is available at the Center for Business and Economic Research’s Web site, The Web site also includes information about the area’s real estate market. This grant continues the nine-year uninterrupted working relation between the Center for Business and Economic Research at USA and the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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