Texas Travel Industry Makes Plea to Governor: Re-Open Tourism Businesses

San Antonio tourism has taken a significant economic hit as the COVID-19 pandemic hinders travel. - INSTAGRAM / LEAVITT2MEPHOTOGRAPHY
Instagram / leavitt2mephotography
San Antonio tourism has taken a significant economic hit as the COVID-19 pandemic hinders travel.
Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen the Texas economy, retail and dining businesses are slowly opening their doors and welcoming guests at limited capacity, but the travel industry says it's being left behind.

“On behalf of more than 600 organizational members, the Texas Travel Alliance calls on Governor Abbott to publicly recognize the importance of the Texas travel industry to the state’s economy,” the organization's president and CEO, Dan Decker, said in a press release. “The 1.2 million Texans who work in travel and tourism are counting on the Governor.”

On May 8, the Texas Travel Alliance sent Abbott a letter outlining the impact the COVID-19 shutdowns have had on the statewide travel economy. The correspondence cited data from the U.S. Travel’s weekly Coronavirus Impact on Travel Report.

“Texas has been losing, on average, $432 million each week over the last six weeks during a time when travel in Texas is ramping up for the peak summer travel season,” the release said. “This equates to a $7.3 billion dollar loss in direct travel spending to our state and … much of this impact is being felt by the more than 60,000 small businesses that make up the Texas travel industry."

The letter was accompanied by a plan created by leadership from top Texas attractions including Sea World San Antonio, the San Antonio Zoo and Six Flags Fiesta Texas that included in-depth disinfection strategies and protocols, noting the prevalence of high-touch surfaces and increased venue capacity.

“As predominantly open-air, regional outdoor experiences, we are prepared to lead the way in safely reopening attractions in Texas,” read the introduction to the reopening plan. “Our employees are trained in a culture of health, safety and welfare to provide incredible experiences for our guests and stand ready to return to work and do our part to operate in this post-COVID-19 environment.”

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