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Texas  + Hospitality  | 

Cautious Optimism Abounds for Texas Travel Industry

Prior to the pandemic, the state’s travel industry experienced a solid decade of growth. Specifically, one in 10 Texas jobs were created by travel, and the travel industry was responsible for a $169.8 billion economic impact to the Texas Economy.

This year, as the Lone Star state celebrates the U.S. Travel Association’s National Tourism and Travel Week, it is showing signs of recovery from historic lows due to the pandemic. In March, the leisure and hospitality sector added 23,100 jobs. Businesses are beginning to recover with roughly 380,000 jobs added to the sector since a low point in April 2020.

Texas has already started to experience a strong rebound in demand relating to hotel bookings with statewide hotel occupancies over spring break (3/14 to 3/20), the highest of the pandemic at 71.6 percent. Additionally, hotel revenues over spring break (3/14 to 3/20) amounted to $234 million or nearly 2019 levels.

The outlook calls for cautious optimism. As more Americans are vaccinated, the demand for travel is picking back up, especially in the domestic leisure travel sector. According to Destination Analysts, two-thirds of American travelers already have travel plans in the next three months, with the focus being on regional drive market destinations as the American road trip continues.

“These developments and this information are informing our strategies to help the industry recover in Texas and drive travel to Texas destinations,” says Brad Smyth, Travel Texas tourism director. “We encourage travelers to safely rediscover their favorite Texas destinations or explore a few new ones this year. The unique cities, towns and attractions around our state are part of what make it such a great place.”


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About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.