Governor’s Office report: Travel spending grows in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (News Release) — 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 that 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,” Nanci Liles, Executive Director at the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau said in a news release. “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.

“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-of-town 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 annualTexas Travel Impact Report is calculated from data collected through12 federal and statewide sources.

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