27 percent of tourists coming to Abilene consists of households with children

ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - Tourism in Abilene has significantly impacted the economic status of the city. A recent report indicated that more than 3,900 people are employed through tourism in the city.

"The number one reason people visit Abilene is to visit friends and family," said Nanci Liles, Executive Director of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau.

New numbers for Abilene shows more than 416 million dollars has been brought into the Abilene economy by tourism.

"Mostly our visitors come from within the state of Texas," said Liles. "The Dallas - Fort Worth market is our number one market. San Antonio has increased over the last couple years as far as bringing visitation."

27 percent of tourism brought to Abilene consists of households with children.

"Part of our promotion is to the local audience to encourage them when they have friends and relatives to come in to live like a local," said Liles. "To go out and explore Abilene like locals would explore it."

Abilene tourism aims to bring even more of its target market to the Big Country.

"Primarily the main group that we cater to is families, mostly smaller children," said John Black, Business Operations Manager of the Abilene Zoo.

The numbers indicate visitors are taking part in what Abilene has to offer, including the Abilene Zoo.

"40 percent were Abilene residents so that's any of the zip-codes in the surrounding area for that and the rest of it was either in state (or) out of state," said Black.

The push for an increase in Abilene tourism continues to grow.

"The Abilene Youth Sports Complex would mean millions of new dollars into Abilene and then the Convention Center hotel will also bring in millions of dollars of new business into our city," said Liles. "We are constantly trying to bring tourism forward."

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