More business and leisure visitors are coming to Fort Worth than ever, according to new figures from the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (FWCVB).
During its third annual meeting and breakfast on Feb. 3 at the Fort Worth Hilton, the FWCVB announced new economic impact numbers for tourism and new marketing initiatives.
New economic impact research shows significant growth in visitation, spending and jobs directly related to the Fort Worth tourism and hospitality industry.
Last year, 8.5 million visitors, including 400,000 international visitors, generated $1.9 billion in direct spending. That spending supported 19,350 jobs and $111 million in local tax revenue, and a $597 tax savings per household, the FWCVB said.
“More business and leisure visitors are coming to Fort Worth, enough to fill AT&T Stadium more than 100 times a year. This means more support for local business and jobs in Fort Worth,” said Bob Jameson, FWCVB president and CEO.
Jameson said meeting and convention bookings are strong. The FWCVB sales team has booked a quarter-million hotel room nights for 2017-2019, the same years. Top meetings booked include: The Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies 2017 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE); AcuSport Corporation 2018-2019 Business Conference; and Texas FFA Association 2019 Annual Convention and Trade Show.
International marketing efforts have expanded to include a joint public relations and trade representation agreement with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and China.
Top international markets to Fort Worth include Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and China.
Sports and film marketing are the newest initiatives for the FWCVB in 2016. In 2015, the organization hosted the first of two consecutive NCAA championships and received national recognition by T.E.A.M.S. for the national women’s gymnastics event.
In response to demand, the FWCVB created a sports marketing department and will launch a semi-annual sports speakers’ forum this spring. The first forum will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Texas Motor Speedway and feature TMS President Eddie Gossage Jr.
Last October, in partnership with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, city of Fort Worth and private sector partners, the FWCVB launched the Fort Worth Film Commission in an effort to attract film, television, commercial, gaming, animation and emerging media to Fort Worth and boost economic development, tourism and awareness.
During the annual meeting, the FWCVB presented a new brand image known as Westropolitan, built on the visitor experience in a modern city with western flair. The branding has Western appeal with modern style to showcase more of Fort Worth. Updated elements include a new logo, updated photography and video and advertising campaigns.
Additionally, the 2016 FWCVB Hospitality Award was presented to board members and directors from the five anchor museums of the Fort Worth Cultural District: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Kimbell Art Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
“The continuous investment in art and architecture in the Cultural District is remarkable. Individually and collectively, these five museums have created an identity that has become a beacon to visitors from Fort Worth,” said Randy Gideon, chairman of the FWCVB board of directors.
At the end of the event, former The Voice contestant Luke Wade, along with the First St. John Praise Team raised the roof a bit with several songs, including the Ben E. King classic, “Stand By Me.”
Presenting sponsors for the event were Pinnacle Bank and J&S Audio Visual.