Solar eclipse tourism could bring up to $603 million to Texas economy, UTSA prof says

Based on economic data from other states, Texas can expect around $300 of spending per eclipse tourist.

click to enlarge Eclipse tourism will be a cash cow for Texas, a San Antonio economist estimates. - Shutterstock / aeonWAVE
Shutterstock / aeonWAVE
Eclipse tourism will be a cash cow for Texas, a San Antonio economist estimates.
In case anyone is wondering how much money visitors are bringing to Texas as they descend on the Hill Country to view Monday's eclipse, a San Antonio college professor has crunched the numbers.

Bülent  Temel, a political economist at UTSA, estimates that tourism to witness the celestial event will dump between $150 million and $603 million into the state's economy, radio program The Texas Standard reports. Tumel previously called the eclipse “the most profitable 22 minutes in Texas history.”

"[T]hat is likely to be the most profitable per-minute stimulation of the state economy in the state’s 179-year history," he told the Standard.

Of all 15 states in the path of totality, Texas appears poised to rake in the most economic benefit, the economist estimates. That's because it's the state where the path of totality will be longest. What's more, the path will fall across three of the state's most populous areas: San Antonio, Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

And Tumel isn't just spitballing the numbers, he told the Standard.

The prof is basing his estimates on detailed reports about the 2017 total eclipse's economic impact on South Carolina and Nebraska. Those states reaped a respective $269 million and $127 million in lodging, travel and food expenses.

"So those are the three main areas where we expect spending to happen," Tumel told the Standard. "And we ended up with $299 as our estimate for how much each visitor will spend to visit the eclipse.". 

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