HOUSTON (July 15, 2015) – As Houston readies to host the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl in the next 18 months, new infrastructure is rising at a rapid rate—from eight new hotels downtown to an unprecedented number of new restaurants and nightlife spots. Now, a new study shows that the city is actually adding such tourism related businesses at one of the fastest rates in the nation.
The report from the site SelfStorage.com examined U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on hotels, restaurants and nightlife growth between 2005 and 2013 (the most recent data available). The report then ranked cities based on the growth of such establishments. Houston's growth rate in this sector was 12.3%, making it the seventh fastest growing city in hospitality-related businesses for the period.
While the period covered in the data analysis ended in 2013, observers say Houston has experienced an even more dramatic increase in new development over the last year. Roughly 3,000 new hotel rooms are being developed downtown with roughly another 4,000 being developed elsewhere around the city, according to the real estate firm Marcus & Millichap. Meanwhile, the city's appetite for dining out isn't slowing down as more than a dozen new restaurants open each month, on average.
"It is a dynamic time to be selling Houston," says Mike Waterman, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "With new enhancements and infrastructure comes new energy and excitement that will appeal to both visitors and locals alike. Every new project broadens our ability to attract new visitors, conventions and business to Houston."
Stephanie Haynes, president of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston, says hoteliers see great potential in the improvements being made around Houston-particularly the convention district. "Hotels recognize the impact these efforts will have on the city's appeal," she says. "We believe the result will not only be more conventions, but also more business travel and leisure travel, as Houston's profile grows."
Other Texas metros on the list include El Paso at No. 3, Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 6 and Austin at No. 9. New Orleans took the top spot on the list and New York was at No. 2.
About the GHCVB and Houston First Corp.
Houston First Corporation operates the city's convention and arts facilities and works to position Houston as a world-class destination. The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official sales and marketing organization for Houston and Harris County. In 2014, Houston First and the GHCVB aligned their operations to provide a single clear voice for Houston. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and manages more than 10 city-owned buildings, plazas and parking facilities, including the George R. Brown Convention Center. For more information, visit HoustonFirst.com and VisitHouston.com.
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