The United States is a country that is going through a bit of a rough patch right now, and with any period of trials & tribulation come dips in how much people want to travel. Even with what seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for traveling in this great country, Texas tourism seems to be weathering the storm better than even the most grizzled travel experts could have predicted. The question is simple – why? How is it that the Lone Star State is able to maintain a steady movement of travelers across its borders when other states are seeing lulls?
It’s best to think of the Texas tourism boom as more than just a current blip. In fact, the campaign to make Texas a premier destination for out-of-towers has been in full-swing since the 1960s. At the time, Texas was seen as nothing more than a relic of the Old West, and it certainly didn’t help that there was a presidential assassination in Dallas in 1963. Times were tough for the state, and even its own residents were seeking greener pastures.
Finally, an organization named the Texas Tourist Development Agency was created with the sole purpose of making Texas seem like place to be. With only a little over $100,000 in the mid 1960s, the agency got to work. By 1970, tourism numbers had begun to skyrocket, and revenue had broken a billion dollars.
Since then, the agency has been absorbed by other offices in state government, but Texas’s tourism boom still holds steady, and when you step back & look at things, you can understand why. For starters, Texas is very business-friendly. Generous tax breaks and subsidies have attracted some of the biggest brands on the national, and international, scene. This migration of businesses into Texas has certainly made its mark. For example, in the last decade, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was second only to New York City in terms of the amount of construction for retail, warehouse, office, and rental spaces. Real estate, retail, and economic experts not only noted the historic length of the boom in Dallas/Fort Worth, but they were also in agreement that there was no slowing down anytime soon.
The jump in businesses making their home in Texas has meant better job numbers for both residents and non-residents. The uptick in employment numbers usually positively impacts the retail markets, too.
Perhaps the neatest reason Texas has found itself so high on the list of satisfying places to visit, or call home, is that no matter where you are, you can always find a hidden gem of a town with a lot of hospitality and charm to offer. Moreover, you’re not really more than a day-trip’s distance from the major cities of Texas (e.g., Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio), and with hundreds of thousands of miles of roadways, Texas is the ultimate road-trip destination.