Hunter Appointed Co-Chair to Joint Interim Committee to Study Cruise Ship Industry
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Speaker Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) appointed Chairman of the House Calendars Committee, State Representative Todd Hunter (R – Corpus Christi), to serve as co-chair on a Joint Interim Committee that will analyze the development of a cruise industry on the Texas coast, and review its potential economic impact.
“We represent one of the fastest growing areas in the country, a robust tourism industry, and a wealth of natural resources,” Rep. Hunter said. “By providing an interim study, we can begin to outline the benefits of the economic impact that can be generated in South Texas by the development of the cruise industry, and the benefits that South Texas offers the industry.”
Last session, Rep. Hunter helped pass Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 5 to bring the cruise ship industry one step closer to recognizing that Texas is an excellent place to be. He did this following numerous Town Hall meetings, which he hosted throughout District 32, where the common theme among constituents was that they didn’t understand why the industry hadn’t made it to Texas’ coastline yet.
“With the Port of Corpus Christi, Ingleside and the beaches of Aransas Pass, this region is certainly going to see an increase in economic activity,” said Charlie Hicks, Chairman of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation. “We’re very excited about the possibilities and believe this interim study is the first step toward getting the industry jump-started.”
The cruise ship industry has the potential to bring a significant economic boost to the state. In 2010 alone, 15 million passengers took cruises, and the cruise industry generated 313,998 jobs paying out $14.23 billion in wages and salaries.
Dennis Patillo, chairman-elect of the Victoria Economic Development Council, said “The entire Coastal Bend Region will benefit from the development from the cruise industry in South Texas. The whole industry up and down the coast could benefit from a revitalization, and this interim study is the first step in making it happen.”