Get in the Spirit of Travel Week

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The travel industry will help rebuild business.

Sunday, May 3, officially kicks off National Travel Week, when Abilene joins the rest of the world to educate everyone about the value of the industry. This year’s theme, “The Spirit of Travel,” encourages people to dream and plan for the day they can hit the open road.

Here’s a great thing about Abilene’s travel and tourism industry: It’s an activity that supports other businesses and non-profits. When professional associations, civic groups, athletic teams, or leisure tourists visit Abilene, their spending supports hotels, guest houses, restaurants, gas stations and shopping, along with museums, the zoo, party venues and cultural events. We’re all in this together. 2020 is a milestone for the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau: We've been bringing business to town for 50 years.

New numbers were just released. The Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism reports that visitors brought $506 million in direct spending to businesses in the Abilene metropolitan area during 2019. Those dollars generated more than $45 million in tax receipts for state, county, and city governments. The report shows that travelers supported more than 4,100 jobs in 2019, providing $115 million in salaries and revenue to workers and proprietors. Visitors are important to sustain a vibrant economy.

The industry, of course, has taken a huge financial hit recently, and Abilene businesses and venues are feeling the pain. Attractions and venues have closed their doors to guests and canceled events that bring revenue to support their operations. More than 84 meetings and events have canceled for this year, representing a $7.7 million (and counting) loss to Abilene’s economy.

We’re sweeping off the porch and preparing to roll out the welcome mat. People will want to get out and stretch their legs, spend time with grandchildren, dine out with old friends, pay respects to extended family.  We invite Abilenians to join the effort. 

Stay engaged

Grow your expertise in all things Abilene. Take advantage of the virtual opportunities to engage with the organizations that enrich our lives. Worldwide data demonstrates people are staying connected a myriad of ways, and our local attractions have risen to the challenge. Your family can enjoy live music, book readings, exhibit talks, history lessons, cooking demonstrations and even athletic training.

Sharpen your skills

Here’s another opportunity: The ACVB will offer an abbreviated, live Zoom version of its popular Abilene Champions Hospitality Training May 14. It’s free. Reach out to to sign up. The class builds skills for service industry employees and includes helpful knowledge about this community. When you get back to work or invite friends, family, and clients to town, you’ll have the knowledge of a tour guide.

Show some love

Dig out your pocketbook and support Abilene’s many cultural and heritage venues. We need them to thrive.  Buy a Round Up Pass to use later. Start a regular donation to the Abilene Hearts for the Arts or contribute to the Community Foundation of Abilene’s Support Abilene COVID-19 Relief Fund. Next week’s Abilene Gives online event is another opportunity to support favorite venues; just look for their social media campaigns on May 5 and show your love for this community.  

We look forward to the day Abilene will invite guests back to town. It’s the spirit of the people that makes this frontier flourish. Lend your muscle and join us to keep #AbileneStrong.




The Abilene Convention & Vistors Bureau is working hard to make a community resource for up-to-date information as our city weathers this storm called COVID-19. For the latest city mandates regarding group sizes and social distancing, see the City of Abilene’s COVID-19 page. To update your existing event on our calendar please email




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