HOUSTON (January 24, 2018) – Houston First Corporation (HFC) is awarding $275,000 in marketing incentives to promote 21 tourism projects. Each of the projects represent a partnership that include a total of 83 participating organizations from the greater Houston region as part of the 2018 Tourism Incentive Program (TIP). The TIP initiative is part of a larger initiative launched in 2015 by HFC to increase tourism packages and attract more leisure visitors to our region.

This year’s group of lead organizations to receive TIP funds includes the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston International Dance Coalition, Houston Marathon Committee, Mercury Baroque Ensemble and the Nigerian-American Multicultural Council, among others. The 21 recipients will receive award incentives ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.  

Each of the recipient organizations are required to work collaboratively with other partners to create new tourism packages marketed to potential visitors outside the region. The 2018 TIP program incentivizes partnerships, providing matching marketing funds for tourism packages which promote travel to Houston. TIP applicants must have at least one hotel partner in order to track room nights produced, as well as one non-profit organization partner.

“On behalf of Houston First, I’d like to congratulate each of the 2018 recipients. The TIP program was created to incentivize tourism related organizations to collaborate and attract more visitors to Houston and the region, while contributing to the local economy. We are pleased to see the collaboration for each of the programs, and to have twice as many organizations committed to promoting travel to Houston”, said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation.

All of the applications received were reviewed by a working group and presented to the Houston First/GHCVB’s Joint Tourism Committee. A list of the 2018 winners, their partners and a short description of each project can be found at here.

“The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum has been fortunate enough to be among the beneficiaries of the Houston First TIP for the past two years and we are proud to say that it has a substantial impact on programs. The TIP enables us to reach to a larger market; engage with audiences we wouldn’t normally be able to reach and draw in a crowd outside of our norm. Through this program we are able to not only increase the value of our programs and initiatives by way of marketing but also raise awareness of the museum holistically”, said Desmond Bertrand-Pitts, MBA, M.Ed., Executive Director of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum.

The 2018 TIP encourages organizations to create tourism packages that highlight Houston’s diverse historic and cultural fabric, most often achieved by creating new tourism partnerships. The tourist packages increase the visibility of the city’s museums, theaters, attractions, professional sports, hotels, and diversity. Ultimately the goal is to welcome an increased number of visitors to the Houston area, host them overnight, and deliver first-class hospitality throughout their stay.