So far it looks like it's been a great summer for the tourism-related businesses here in the Coastal Bend.
The Convention and Visitors' Bureau held a luncheon Wednesday for those in the local tourism industry to help spread the good news. They said that, so far this summer, hotel and motel occupancy is way ahead of last year, and last year was a very good year.
Local attractions like the Texas State Aquarium are also seeing a significant jump in attendance, and beach permit sales are up.
So what's behind the rising numbers?
"There are a couple of things that have impacted us," said Keith Arnold, CEO of the Convention and Visitors' Bureau. "We're a good value destination. The amount of people that live within a four-hour drive of here is a huge percentage in the state of Texas; and with the cost of air fare, I believe our marketing in the drive market has really boosted the numbers. It's a hot, dry summer. That helps, too."
The CVB has a new mobile app to help tourists navigate the area and find great deals. It's available for iPhone and Android phones.
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