FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Kelly Thompson, CommunicationsDirector
Travel Impact Dashboard
ABILENE, Texas – Just in time for National Travel & Tourism Week, the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic
Development & Tourism has released preliminary numbers measuring the impact of travel in Texas during 2020,
and they show Abilene suffered less damage during the pandemic than the state average.
The 2021 theme for National Travel & Tourism Week is “Power of Travel,” and the ACVB will join Texas and
the nation to showcase the many reasons travel benefits people and communities.
“We certainly witnessed the power of travel to support local businesses when it declined,” said ACVB Executive
Director Nanci Liles. “This week, Abilenians will experience the strength of the industry as leisure travelers
return in full force, here to attend Western Heritage Classic and university graduations. Hotels, restaurants and gas
stations will be busy.”
Data gathered by Dean Runyan & Associates show travel spending in Texas declined 31% in 2020, causing a
17.9% dip in employment. In Abilene’s metropolitan statistical area, travel spending fell 17.7% and employment
was down by 14%. Statewide, travel earnings declined 15% and tax revenue dropped 24%. Abilene earnings lost
10.5% during 2020, while tax revenue collected from travelers declined 11.5%.
In 2019, travelers brought nearly $506 million to the city compared to $416.3 million in 2020.
More than 214 events booked or assisted by the ACVB were canceled because of the pandemic, an estimated loss
of $17 million direct spending to local businesses.
During 2020 and into 2021, The local hotels have been supported by traveling medical professionals, military,
workers, and others in town to help fight the pandemic. The Taylor County Expo Center offered students and
others a chance at normalcy when agricultural and equestrian events were canceled in other cities.
As part of the NTTW celebration, the ACVB will host its annual Heroes of Tourism luncheon Thursday, honoring
locals who brought a sizeable event, association meeting or other gathering to the city. Three local entities will be
given special awards celebrating their heroism.
Located in the T& P Depot landmark downtown, the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau leverages hotel tax
into economic development. The ACVB’s tourism professionals harness the latest travel trends, research and
strategies to bring group and leisure visitors to Abilene to stay in local hotels, shop, dine, and enjoy sports, arts
and attractions. Established as an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in 1970, the bureau has
improved the quality of life and enhanced the Abilene visitor experience for more than 50 years.
State of Texas
Office Of The Governor
Travelers from the across the globe have turned Texas into one of the top travel destination in the United States. We proudly claim seven diverse travel regions that are home to world-renowned metropolitan areas, charming historic towns, and remarkable scenes of natural beauty, with each offering endless options to visitors with varied interests and from every background. Whether travelers are looking for a romantic getaway at. a cozy winery in the Hill Country, an adventurous hike with friends in the breathtaking beauty of the Big Bend region, or to spend time playing and relaxing with family on the Texas Gulf Coast, the Lone Star State has the perfect adventure for everyone.
The importance of our travel and tourism industry it's not only showcased in the smiles and treasured memories of happy vacationers but also in the impacts of this critical industry on the prosperity of our state. New sentence from Texans working in hotels and restaurants to those employed and transportation retail services real estate and more our travel and tourism industry remains an invaluable part of our livelihoods as well as our state and local economies in fact between 2011 and 2019 this industry experience nearly a decade of extraordinary expansion it has been an important catalyst for our states remarkable economic growth prior to the onset of the novel corona coronavirus pandemic one and 10 Texas jobs were created by travel and the travel industry was responsible for $83 billion in direct spending resulting in $169 billion economic impact on the Texas economy.
Unfortunately as we have faced the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic travel and tourism has been one of the challenges of a global pandemic. Travel and tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries however Texans in our beloved travel destinations are resilient creative and hospitable. In March 2021 the leisure and hospitality sector took a lead in our economic recovery with 23,100 jobs added since a low point in April 2020 about 380,000 jobs have been returned as these businesses continue to recover and as a demand for travel continues to pick back up.
In the face of immense challenges and unfamiliar problems the resilience and ingenuity of Texans is working in the travel and tourism industry has been an inspiration. In Texas we know that it is not our challenges that define us, but rather how we overcome them, and the men and women of our travel industry have set their sights firmly on the future by charting a road to recovery. As we continue to bounce back, there is no doubt that we will come together to rebuild the state's travel and tourism industry to be better, stronger, and more innovative than ever before.
At this time, I join my fellow Texans in recognizing the power of travel to drive economic recovery in Texas and in celebrating the contribution of the travel and tourism industry in the Lone Star State. I encourage everyone, both Texans and non-Texans alike, to visit TravelTexas.com to learn more about the boundless opportunities that await those who are ready to take on their next adventure.
Therefore I, Greg Abbot, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim May2-8, 2021, to be,
TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK.