San Angelo's Travel and Tourism Sector Witnesses Remarkable Recovery


SAN ANGELO, TX — San Angelo's travel and tourism industry is witnessing a remarkable recovery, with hotel occupancy and revenue per available room (revPAR) exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels. In the first three quarters of 2023, there has been an 8.2% increase in revenue compared to the same period in 2019, despite a rise in the number of available hotel rooms.

Jeremy Bartz, the newly appointed VP of the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) at the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, highlighted a significant 7.7% increase in revPAR, from $46.23 to $49.78 per hotel room night.

Year # Rooms Available $ Room Revenues Avg Daily Rate % Change
Quarter 3
2019 2758 $11,571,096.00 $78.35  
2023 2948 $14,202,570.00 $85.66 9.30%
2019 2758 $46,758,787.00 $76.13  
2023 2948 $52,734,808.00 $82.35 8.20%

Third-quarter data of 2023 paints an even more optimistic picture, showing a 9.3% increase in total hotel revenue and a 17.8% rise in revPAR compared to the third quarter of 2019. The number of hotel rooms in San Angelo has expanded to 2,948, an increase of 212 rooms since 2019.

The DMO, crucial in tourism promotion, is funded by the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) managed by the City of San Angelo. These funds, earmarked for tourism marketing efforts, are vital for the city's economic activity, with each visitor contributing nearly $400 per day.

Operating on a $950,000 budget, the DMO could receive an additional $60,000 upon meeting its travel and tourism goals. However, the City has not recently met to review those performances and release the additional funding. Worse, the San Angelo City Council has yet to renew the DMO contract with the Chamber for 2024, leaving the DMO in limbo. There's also a push to align the DMO contract with the City’s fiscal year calendar, a change that has not been officially implemented.

San Angelo's leaders face pressure to act swiftly as the city risks falling behind in tourism marketing compared to other Texas cities. With only two city council meetings remaining in 2023, the clock is ticking for decisions that could impact the DMO's future and the city's position in a competitive tourism market.

Hotel Occupancy Tax is derived from a tax placed on each room night purchased at a San Angelo hotel. By state law, HOT revenue cannot be used for anything other than promoting tourism. Tourism marketing increases visitors to the city, and with that jobs in the hospitality and restaurant sectors.

The author, Joe Hyde, is the Chairman of the Destination Marketing Organization Advisory Board.

Hotel Row in San Angelo at the Houston Harte Expressway and Southwest Blvd.

Hotel Row in San Angelo at the Houston Harte Expressway and Southwest Blvd.

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