Texas On Tour

Texas group Nov 12 - GC

A group of Texas tourism officials are making the rounds in Toronto and southern Ontario this week, informing travel trade personnel of the diversity that the Lone Star State has to offer.

With plenty of access, including direct Air Canada service to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin, Texas is easy to get to and only a 2.5-hour flight away – making it a viable destination for weekend getaways.

Officials told PressToday that the state is competitively priced, making the vacation dollar go further, especially when it comes to things like accommodation, dining and green fees. Cities such as Dallas and Houston also offer CityPass savings, featuring 50% off top attractions.

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World (with more than 250 venues), Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and one that is attracting more and more tourists every year.

The city is seeing a surge in accommodation offerings, including the recent opening of 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin, the largest JW Marriott in the Americas. On tap is the Hotel ZaZa, set to open in 2017, and a US$370 million city centre hotel, managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. It will feature more than 1,068 rooms and be located directly east of the Austin Convention Center – linked by the Red River Canopy Walk.

Coming attractions include NLand Surf Park, the only inland surfing destination in North America. Austin will also host the PGA World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, March 23-27, 2016, at Austin Country Club.

Houston is currently undergoing a US$1.5 billion investment in its downtown convention district as the city prepares to host the Super Bowl in 2017. A new 1,000-room Marriott Marquis Hotel is part of the project.

On the attraction side, Space Center Houston will open a new eight-storey-tall multiple-exhibit complex featuring a shuttle replica mounted on top of the first shuttle carrier aircraft, the NASA 905, in January. The plane will have multiple exhibits that explore innovations, science and technology. Visitors will be able to see inside the cockpit and learn how the plane was retrofitted to carry the shuttle.

The Texas on Tour sales mission includes stops in Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Barrie.

Pictured (l-r) are Rosalyn Hunter, VoX International Inc. (representing Texas Tourism in Canada, Debra Bustos, Texas Tourism, Lourdes Gomez, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Celia Morales, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau.