Texas Travel and Tourism Industry
Texas is a wonderfully diverse state not only geographically but in its attractions and population. Texas provides tourist with beautiful ocean sceneries along the Texas coast, amazing woodlands found in East Texas’ piney woods, as well as beautiful desert landscapes in West Texas. The Texas travel and tourism industry provides a multi-billion dollar positive impact annually to the State of Texas’ economy.
The Texas travel and tourism industry does many things for our state including generating jobs, helping to improve the state’s infrastructure and helping to beautify our state. In fact, based on information found at www.travel.state.tx.us , which is a website maintained by the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism, the economic impact of travel and tourism in 2010 to the State of Texas was approximately $57.5 billion in total direct travel spending. This amount accounted for a 9.8 percent increase over the previous year. If you were to break it down, the $57.5 billion translates in to $150 million a day, $6.5 million dollars an hour or $100,000 a minute being spent across the State of Texas by travelers.
While the amount of direct spending in travel was up, so was the need for lodging. From 2009 to 2010, the demand for lodging increased by 6.3 percent. In 2011, it is estimated that hotels in Texas collected $7.4 billion in revenue by selling more than 85 million roomnights. By the same token, air travel to Texas destinations increased by 3.4 percent. It is estimated that 198 million domestic travelers visited destinations throughout Texas in 2010 with 70% of those travelling for leisure purposes. Additionally, 7.4 million international travelers came to Texas and spent an estimated $4.3 billion.
While direct travel spending increases the need for venues and lodging, it also helps businesses balance their books and provide for additional work hours for their employees. It is important to know that the Texas travel and tourism industry helps to support approximately 529,000 jobs in the State of Texas with earnings estimated at $16.5 billion. While the travel and tourism industry, like many others was impacted by the recession beginning in 2008, of the 74,700 jobs added by the State of Texas nearly 30,000 of them were in the Leisure and Hospitality sector. In January 2012, employment in the Leisure and Hospitality sector increased by 4,100 jobs over the previous month.
It is clear that the travel and tourism industry is an important part of the Texas economy. What most people may not know is how beneficial it is to our state and local governments. In 2010, $3.9 billion in state and local tax revenue was generated by direct travel spending and that does not include property taxes. These tax revenues represent between 7-8 percent of all local and state tax revenues collected. When you include federal tax revenues generated by the travel and tourism industry, the total increases to $7.6 billion collected in local, state and federal tax receipts. This represents $850 in tax revenue from each Texas household; again this does not include property taxes.