Information for Communities
Nature tourism development in rural communities can diversify local economies, while also providing benefits to the people who live there. Some benefits are economic. For example, every $78,085 spent in 2000 directly supported one job in Texas. Local tax revenues were $623 million and state tax revenues were $2 billion.
Travel spending increased at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent since 1990. Other benefits have to do with instilling pride in community and providing jobs for residents. Nature tourism can help by providing communities with another tourism draw to their area, thus increasing the reasons for travelers to visit.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is actively involved in nature tourism development on the community level through the work of the nature tourism coordinator. The nature tourism coordinator is available for site visits and assessments to communities interested in developing a nature tourism program. Site visits and technical guidance for communities involves a tour of potential or existing nature tourism destinations in an area, meeting with Chamber of Commerce or city officials, and developing some practical goals for the community. Call or e-mail the coordinator to set up a meeting for your community.
Additionally, nature tourism workshops are offered year-round by a variety of organizations that might be of benefit to your local community. For a listing of future nature tourism related workshops offered throughout the state, visit the Texas Nature Tourism Council's Workshops and Events website.