Tourism in Turmoil
Column Published in syndication July 01, 2020

Texas is struggling to strike the appropriate balance in the tragic choice between effective public health measures and restoring vitality to the economy. Moving ahead with reopening before recommended safety milestones were met has led to reversals and setbacks on the path to progress. Physical health and economic health are both essential. Nowhere is this tension more intensely evident than in the tourism industry.

Flushing Future Fortune
Column Published in syndication August 02, 2017

Growing an economy and encouraging prosperity is difficult work, and the last thing Texas needs is to shoot itself in the foot over a bathroom bill. The state has a lot of things going for it - a large and growing workforce, abundant natural resources (particularly oil and natural gas), a central location, a competitive cost of living, and excellent incentive programs. We also have good things going on in a number of industries ranging from technology to biosciences. We're improving infrastructure, adding top-tier research facilities and medical schools, and emerging as a center for desirable industrial growth and corporate locations and expansions.

The Economic and Fiscal Price of Restricting Bathroom Access
Column Published in syndication April 19, 2017

Travel and tourism is an important source of economic activity. Every year, millions of visitors to Texas spend billions of dollars in the state, and hundreds of thousands of individuals across Texas are employed in travel-related industries. I have studied travel and tourism in Texas on a number of occasions dating back more than 30 years. Recently, I estimated that when multiplier effects are considered, the total benefits of travel and tourism industries include more than $128.9 billion in gross product each year and 1.4 million permanent jobs in Texas. This economic activity generates substantial tax revenue, which I found to be $7.0 billion to the State and $3.3 billion to local government entities (including cities, counties, and school districts) each year.

The Impact of Texas Travel and Tourism
Column Published in syndication December 14, 2016

Travel and tourism plays a large role in the Texas economy. Unique traditions and expansive wide-open spaces have lent a genuine mystique to "all things Texas" over the years. Today, the Lone Star State offers countless opportunities for leisure and business travelers--whether intrastate, interstate, or from far-flung places around the globe. From sleepy picturesque towns and winding country roads to enormous high-tech theme parks and world-class museums, and from high school, college, and professional athletic contests to out-of-the way nature trails, fishing holes, and cultural enrichment activities, Texas really is "like a whole other country."

The Travel Industry in Texas
Column Published in syndication July 27, 2016

Every year, millions of travelers come to Texas for both business and leisure purposes. Texas benefits greatly from travel spending from residents of the state as well as travelers from other states or countries.