FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 16, 2019
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Kelly Thompson, Communications Director
Governor’s Office Report: Travel Spending Grows in Abilene
ABILENE, TX – The Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism has released its 2018 data for Texas Travel Industry Impact by Metro Statistical Area, and Abilene’s earnings not only grew, but outperformed total growth for the state.
Dean Runyan & Associates reports this good news: Travelers spent $498 million in Abilene last year, reflecting 9.4% growth over 2017. That spending generated $44.2 million in taxes collected through lodging, gas and shopping, with local coffers garnering $14 million, a 7.8% increase over the prior year.
Gains were fueled by growth in visitor spending on ground transportation and gas, lodging, retail shopping, arts, entertainment and recreation.
“These numbers demonstrate the strong influence of group and leisure travelers to local businesses,” said Nanci Liles, Executive Director at the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These visitors support our restaurants, shops, attractions and other infrastructure.”
The report shows slight growth in the number of people employed by tourism in Abilene: 4,047, an increase of 47 jobs, more than half at hotels and restaurants.
2018 Traveler Spending by Commodity Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area:
Transportation & Gas: $154.6 million
Restaurants: $89.9 million
Retail Sales: $82.4 million
Lodging: $66.2 million
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation: $53.6 million
Food Stores: $19.4 million
Air Transportation: $11.3 million
“We’re heading the right direction and are excited to to pursue new business for the amazing renovated spaces at the Taylor County Expo Center, upcoming Dodge Jones Youth Sports Complex and the proposed convention hotel downtown,” Liles said. “These travelers help support our quality of life. Without spending from out-oftown guests, each person in Taylor County would need to pay $690 in taxes to maintain the community’s current level of services.”
The Office of the Governor, Economic Development, Travel & Tourism’s annual Texas Travel Impact Report is calculated from data collected through 12 federal and statewide sources. Find information about booking conventions, meetings and events in Abilene at abilenevisitors.com.
Located in the T&P Depot landmark downtown, the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau leverages hotel tax into economic development. The ACVB’s tourism professionals bring group and leisure visitors to Abilene, supporting the local economy with more than $498 million in annual spending, money used by happy people who stay in hotels, shop, dine, and enjoy live music, 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 visitor experience for nearly 50 years.