SA Express-News: Mixed Bag for Texas Tourism in 2017

San Antonio Express-News logoThe San Antonio Express-News reports on tourism in the state of Texas and its effects on the lodging industry in the article “Bathroom bill, Harvey produced mixed bag for Texas tourism in 2017” (subscription required). Naturally, when discussing the lodging industry in Texas, report Joshua Fechter reached out to Source Strategies, Inc., the leading hotel consultants in the state.

The first major impact noted in the article is related to the United States’ bombastic chief executive, calling it the “Trump Effect”:

Arrivals from foreign countries dropped by almost 4 percent during the first half of 2017, according to the latest available figures from the National Travel and Tourism Office. Travel from Mexico plunged by more than 9 percent as President Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding the border wall escalated and the peso’s value wavered.

Hurricane Harvey had an out-sized impact on the state and Source Strategies was able to provide some context with data from the Third Quarter 2017 Hotel Brand Report:

In Texas, the Harvey storm system produced a mixed bag for the state’s $67 billion hospitality industry. San Antonio hotels and conventions saw cancellations and fewer attendees from Houston and the Gulf Coast area in the aftermath of Harvey, said Casandra Matej, president and chief executive officer of Visit San Antonio.

But hotels in the Houston area saw a 22 percent jump in revenue growth during the third quarter with $626 million in receipts as displaced Houstonians sought lodging, according to San Antonio-based hotel consulting firm Source Strategies Inc.

Texas state lawmakers also had major impacts on the tourism industry with major cuts in tourism funding as well as debating controversial legislation like so-call ‘Bathroom Bill’ and Senate Bill 4 allowing law enforcement officers to ask about immigration status.

Convention groups also pulled their meetings from Texas cities over Senate Bill 4, which allows law enforcement officers to ask detainees about their immigration status. The American Hispanic Lawyers Association moved its 3,000-member conference — set for next year in Grapevine, near Dallas — to San Francisco because of the law. The National Women’s Studies Association also cited the bill when dropping Dallas from consideration for its 2020 convention.

Read the full article, “Bathroom bill, Harvey produced mixed bag for Texas tourism in 2017” in the San Antonio Express-News (subscription required).

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