Tourists flocked to Houston in 2015Tourists flocked to Houston in 2015https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=131222016-05-10T05:00:00Z2016-05-10T19:45:00Z

​​HOUSTON - Houston welcomed a record 17.5 million travelers last year, up 18 percent from 14.8 million the year before, according to data released by Houston First Corp. and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB).

The figure includes both domestic and international visitors coming to Houston for both business and leisure. The data was compiled from several sources, including national research group TNS Travels America.

Houston First and the GHCVB, which combined in 2014, cited factors such as low gas prices and increasing air travel as part of what’s driving the growth.

Data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows that Houston is the second-fastest growing destination in the U.S. for overseas travelers, reported Houston First and the GHCVB.

Additionally, a record 732,967 hotel room nights for future conventions were booked last year, up 29 percent from 2014. That increase was largely driven by new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematical), medical and education meetings that took place in Houston, the organizations said earlier this year.

A year ago, Houston First and the GHCVB announced a nearly $9 million plan to bring 20 million annual visitors to the Bayou City by 2018.

The plan increased the amount Houston First and the GHCVB would spend on leisure promotion and advertising from $5.1 million in 2014 to $8.8 million in 2015. The increase was possible because the organizations had combined resources.

At the time, the organizations expected the growth would add another 20,000 jobs to the greater Houston area's 129,000 existing hospitality jobs and increase the $1.1 billion in local and state sales tax revenue generated by the industry by 25 percent.

Now, the organizations say the hospitality industry supports more than 135,000 jobs in the area and generates tax revenue of $1.4 billion.

Houston Business Journal
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2016/05/04/record-number-of-travelers-visited-houston-in-2015.htmlRead more at the {Source}

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