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Houston’s tourism business

People like to spend money here. In particular, people from Mexico like to spend money here.

Mexicans are the largest group of international tourists who visit Houston – and recently, their numbers have grown. In 2015, Houston received 2.5 million international tourists, 1.8 million of whom came from Mexico.

In 2016, the convention and visitors bureau launched a campaign, “Hola Houston,” to promote the city as a cultural and culinary destination.

“We aimed to increase the number of Mexican tourists to 2 million by 2018,” said Jorge Franz, the bureau’s vice president for tourism, “but we are already well beyond that mark for the year 2016.”

Mexican tourists also spend the most money of all Houston’s visitors. In 2015, on an average two-night trip, each spent an average of $1,253.

Franz said that Mexican tourists love shopping in the Galleria and at the area’s suburban outlet stores.

Many also visit the less- crowded luxury boutiques and designer shops of the upscale River Oaks District shopping complex. Mexican shoppers “typically go after the luxury brands,” says Jennifer Rivera, marketing manager for the River Oaks District. “They are big shoppers of Dolce & Gabbana, big shoppers of Hermés, and huge shoppers of Canali and Dior.”

According to the story, some twenty thousand Mexican nationals were in Houston for the Super Bowl. The story doesn’t give a cumulative annual number for the revenue the city and the greater region derive from all this, but between hotel taxes, rental car taxes, sales taxes, and just a whole lot of stuff being bought, I think we can assume it’s a decent chunk of change. Now ask yourself, what would the effect be if all this activity were to be dramatically scaled back, due to some combination of further restrictions on immigration and the well-heeled travelers of Mexico deciding they just don’t need this crap, as some of them featured in the story say is the case for them? It would not be good. If that happens, you can thank Dear Leader Trump and the people like Dan Patrick (are you paying attention, Texas Association of Business?) who enable him.

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  1. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Houston will take a hit by people south of the border, that includes Central and South America. The Galleria is well known. As to what if they boycott, in the South Texas Valley it is already having an impact,

    Last report from McAllen Texas was that it was down 4%.

    As to one of those 20,000 that came for the Super Bowl he told Univision that the trip was planned before Trump’s election, but they did not plan to spend as much as they normally do during this trip.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    From the same article:

    “I also seriously disagree with Trump assertion that Mexico sends the worst people to the U.S.,” Vázquez said. “Mexico actually sends our best workers. They work two and three shifts. They are the best because you have to be very brave and with a lot of desire to succeed to risk your life crossing rivers and deserts.”

    Ana Pliego says she is “very upset” with President Trump. “I am very troubled by his racism and lack of culture, with his contemptuousness towards us, diminishing our people and our country when we haven’t done anything wrong to them.”

    Ana just gets through admitting that her country intentionally sends invaders north to infiltrate America illegally, when she then claims, “we haven’t done anything wrong to them.” Uh, Ana? Illegally sending your poor to America is wrong. I wonder how Ana would like it if the US emptied out its own ghettos and sent those people to live in Ana’s neighborhood? Has Ana seen the comic book promulgated by the Mexican government advising its citizens how to sneak into, and stay in the US? Is that her idea of “we haven’t done anything wrong to them?”

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Here is Mexico, opening its arms to people illegally in their country.