The Live Music Capital of the World® welcomed nearly 20 million visitors last year. Overnight travelers spent more than $350 per day at local hotels, restaurants, live music venues and local businesses. That spending funnels directly into the pockets and institutions that make Austin such a special and thriving place to call home.
Tourism promises to remain a bright spot on Austin's economic landscape. In a recent study, tourism dollars generated nearly $270 million in local and state tax revenue. Without tourism, Austinites would pay about $1000 more per household per year in taxes to support the basic infrastructure of the city. In addition, the hospitality industry provides jobs for more than 37,000 workers. See the economic impact of Austin’s hospitality sector.
With Austin gaining worldwide attention for its creative spirit, visitors continue to pour in to get a taste of all we have to offer. They want to experience Austin the way Austinites live, work and play. They come to the city to see and hear live music, bike and hike the beautiful trails, take a dip in Barton Springs, shop in local stores and eat great food. See how tourism benefits residents.
Forbes Magazine recently named Austin the “Nation’s #1 Boom Town” for the next decade. The Atlantic named Austin one of the world's 30 most dynamic cities and Lonely Planet listed Austin and West Texas as #4 on their top travel destinations for 2011. See more accolades for Austin as a travel destination.
These accolades help to fill Austin hotels. Over the last 10 years, demand for downtown hotel has risen by an average of 5.4 percent per year in the central business district. Last year, demand for downtown hotel rooms rose 8.7 percent and city-wide demand increased by 10.4 percent.
With new downtown hotels breaking ground, the possibilities for Austin leisure travelers and meeting planners abound. The JW Marriott Austin, a more than 1,000 room hotel is slated to open first quarter 2015 and the Hyatt Place Downtown has recently broken ground, scheduled to open 2013. These additions will allow Austin to host new and larger meetings and conventions while benefiting annual premier events such as SXSW and ACL.
With new hotel projects and continued growth, 2012 holds the promise for Austin as a premier meetings and leisure destination.