Celebrating the Spirit and Growth of Tourism in Abilene

National Travel & Tourism Week

Visit Abilene

May 20, 2024
Staff Reports

As we prepare to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week from May 19-25, 2024, it's a perfect opportunity to reflect on the impact of tourism. NTTW celebrates the U.S. travel community, highlighting how travel stimulates the economy, creates jobs, inspires entrepreneurship, and elevates the quality of life for Americans every day. 

In 2023, tourism remained a major force driving Abilene’s economy. Travelers spent an amazing $555 million, boosting local businesses with their spending on hotels, restaurants, and shopping. This spending directly supports the livelihoods of 3,630 hardworking Abilenians. The earnings from these jobs totaled $122.8 million. 

The economic benefits extend beyond jobs and salaries though. Tourism brought in $15 million in local taxes, which are essential for maintaining and improving our city's infrastructure and services. Fun fact, tourism saves each household in Taylor County an average of $713 annually in taxes! These figures, provided by Travel Texas, a division of the Office of the Governor Economic Development & Tourism, highlight the importance of travel and tourism to our city's financial well-being. 

The Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau is key to making tourism in our city successful. Our mission is to show off Abilene as a great place to live, work and visit. In 2023, we were humbled and honored to be named the Destination Marketing Organization of the Year by the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, which shows our hard work and creative marketing are paying off. 

The ACVB focuses on three main areas: sales, marketing, and making sure visitors have a great experience. Each part helps boost tourism and keep everything we do aligned with Abilene's broader economic goals. Our marketing strategy is comprehensive, covering advertising, digital marketing, trade shows, and keeping a strong online presence. These efforts make Abilene shine as a top travel spot in Texas, and other cities are definitely taking notice.  

A big part of our focus is on group sales. Last year, these efforts brought in $44 million to our economy. Conferences, conventions, and youth sports events are key, with visitors spending an average of $209 per person per day. These events fill our hotels, restaurants and retail shops which creates a ripple effect that benefits other sectors of our economy as well.  

So, how can you support tourism in Abilene? I'm glad you asked. If you're part of an association or professional organization that hosts annual events, invite them to Abilene. Give us a call at 325-676-2556 or stop by the T&P Depot—we’d be thrilled to meet you. 

And don't forget, you can support tourism just by being your awesome selves—welcoming visitors and giving them a taste of the welcoming West Texas hospitality Abilene is known for. 

As we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week, let's remember the important role tourism plays in Abilene's economy and community. Your support and enthusiasm are what make our city a standout destination. Whether you’re bringing a conference to Abilene or sharing a welcoming smile or a warm “hello”, every effort counts. Together, we can continue to make Abilene a vibrant, welcoming place for visitors from near and far. Thank you for all that you do to keep our city's tourism industry thriving and successful. Here's to a fantastic NTTW celebration and an even brighter future for Abilene!