Lifestyle

Life’s Better in a State of Travel: A New Economic Recovery Campaign

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Texas Travel Alliance encourages Texans to get on the road again, as quarantine restrictions are lifted. In conjunction with Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and The Atkins Group, “Life’s Better in a State of Travel” is their catchy new ad slogan. The economic recovery campaign promotes traveling in Texas, helping the industry and our state economy.

“We believe now is the time to begin talking about traveling again, dreaming of the places in Texas you want to see, and start planning for that first trip,” said Texas Travel Alliance President & CEO Dan Decker. “Texas is an expansive state and offers something for everyone to experience from beaches to mountains, small towns to large cities, historic sites and state parks, cuisine of every kind, live music, museums, zoos, aquariums, and everything in between.”

Texas Travel Alliance

Life's Better in a State of Travel: A New Economic Recovery Campaign

Photo: Pierce Ingram for Texas Travel

The Travel Alliance works with airlines, airports, attractions, hotels and restaurants, and other businesses that create over 1.2 million jobs in Texas. Their industry experienced significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these 60,000 small businesses have closed and had to furlough or lay off employees. An economic driver for the Texas economy, the travel industry is among the largest export industries in the state, second only to oil and gas. They are a significant contributor to oil and gas and numerous other tax revenues.

Did you know travel spending in Texas lowers the overall tax bill for every household in the state, including yours? In 2018, each Texas household paid $740 less in taxes. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the economy will be felt at local and state levels. Travel spending in Texas was $1.39 billion the last week of February, an increase of 3 percent. It plummeted to $218 million the week ending April 30, for an 86% decline year over year.

Texas Economic Development

Life's Better in a State of Travel: A New Economic Recovery Campaign

Photo: Pedernales Falls by Pierce Ingram for Texas Travel

Travel spending in 2018, per the Governor’s Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office, totaled $80.3 billion. That generated $4.5 billion in state taxes and $3 billion in local taxes. With tax revenue projections dramatically down, and predictions of massive state budget shortfalls, the industry can play a significant role in spurring economic recovery. A strong summer season (June, July, and August) will allow the travel industry to contribute tax revenues at state and local levels.

Summer camps employ thousands of Texans, offering programming to thousands of children who need a sense of normalcy again, while giving parents the chance to return to work. Hotels contribute tax revenues at state and local levels, while airlines and airports generate revenue into the state’s economy. Attractions, restaurants, and retail establishments can serve customers again, and contribute to the state’s economic recovery.

The Atkins Group

Life's Better in a State of Travel: A New Economic Recovery Campaign

Photo: Fredericksburg Wildflower Farms photo by Pierce Ingram for Texas Travels

Steve Atkins, CEO of The Atkins Group, said, “We’ve worked with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and travel-related associations across the state for over 50 years because we love the work we do together. That’s why we’ve worked with the Texas Travel Alliance and TACVB to develop a campaign focused on bridging the gap between this moment in time to the point where recovery begins.”

Atkins said, “We’ve created this campaign in such a way that it gets to the heart of our locals and visitors, and gets them thinking about the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re here to partner in rebuilding tourism in Texas. We know that Life is Better in a State of Travel.”