City of Tyler’s tourism industry shows signs of recovery as pandemic slows

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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – As part of the 39th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, residents and business owners of Tyler had the chance to hear how the city and economy are growing today. today. Specifically, the tourism industry.

In 2021, over 20,000 visitors passed through various neighborhoods in Tyler. Today, luncheon guests heard Scott Joslove, president and CEO of the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, talk about local and national tourism numbers.

“You have $234 million … in expenses, in direct expenses. If I take indirect, triple. So almost a billion dollars,” he said. “You have $9 million in local taxes generated annually from tourism in Tyler. You have over three thousand direct tourism employees in the tourism sector. »

Joslove said 2020 was a horrible year for those in the hospitality industry however,

“Areas like East Texas, I pulled the numbers, you did better than the rest of the state during the pandemic. Did you go down in 2020? Yes you can. But 2021, guess what, you’re back. 2022 you are back to your 2019 levels,” Joslove said.

But not in all elements.

“We are still waiting to see business travel return. It’s not that they don’t exist, it’s just not at the same levels. We are still waiting to see convention and event traffic reach 2019 levels,” said Joslove.

In Tyler, the new Rose Complex Convention Center is under construction. Stephanie Franklin, the deputy city manager, provided an update on this.

“The south parking lot is almost finished. Landscaping and lighting will be installed later. Rose Park will finally be online, hopefully at the end of May. These parking lots adjacent to the Civic Theater as well as the Rose Garden will be completed and hopefully open by the end of this month,” Franklin said. “By the end of June, we hope to have a full enclosure and most of the work will be inside.”

Franklin said they hope to be done with the resort by the end of October.

Last year, tourists spent an estimated $232.9 million in Tyler according to the Dean Runyan report, a 27% increase from 2020.

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