The San Antonio tourism and hospitality sector has achieved an astounding resurgence, catapulting its performance metrics beyond pre-pandemic levels and marking a momentous milestone with a remarkable economic impact of $19 billion – a noteworthy 10% surge compared to the previous year.
This remarkable feat, uncovered through an investigation led by Trinity University professors Richard V. Butler, Ph.D., and Mary E. Stefl, Ph.D., commissioned by key industry stakeholders including Visit San Antonio, the San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association, the Texas Restaurant Association—San Antonio Chapter, and the San Antonio Visitors Alliance, reaffirms the sector’s unyielding strength, dynamism, and its pivotal role in the San Antonio region.
A significant component of this historic economic revival lies in the substantial escalation of contributions to local taxes and fees, surging to an impressive sum of $262 million. San Antonio stands as a beacon of recovery, outpacing numerous cities across the United States.
An independent study by renowned national research firm D.K. Shifflet unveiled that San Antonio magnetized 34.8 million visitors, fostering employment opportunities for over 140,000 individuals – a nearly 10% upsurge compared to 2021 figures.
Marc Anderson, President and CEO of Visit San Antonio, voiced a determined commitment to restoring the city’s tourism and hospitality sector: “There is so much more work to be done, and Visit San Antonio remains steadfast in its commitment to rejuvenating our city’s tourism and hospitality sector, aiming to restore hotel occupancy, city visitation and tourism-supported jobs to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024 or even sooner. The latest record-breaking news of over $19 billion in economic impact and $262 million in city tax revenues for 2022 is immensely gratifying and promises a bright future for our city and its residents.”
A surge of more than 100 new restaurants and around a dozen new hotels entering the scene since the pandemic’s onset has propelled the industry’s total payroll beyond the benchmarks set in 2019. This surge underscores the sector’s role as one of the top five economic drivers propelling the San Antonio region.
San Antonio’s Mayor Ron Nirenberg aptly acknowledged the significance of the industry’s contributions: “This is not only a win for our city, but it is a win for the citizens of San Antonio. The positive impact our tourism and hospitality industry has had on our local economy since the start of the pandemic is tremendous. It showcases the remarkable efforts to tell San Antonio’s story to the world.”
This robust growth stands as a testament to the unswerving impact of tourism and hospitality in shaping the city’s identity and elevating its status as the swiftest-growing major city in the United States. Visit San Antonio Board Chair Phil Stamm emphasized the indispensable role played by tourism and hospitality in fostering economic dynamism and generating job opportunities.
“While we laud the achievement of surpassing pre-pandemic benchmarks in pivotal domains, we must stand united to further boost business demand across both leisure and meetings and conventions,” Stamm emphasized. “Our sector’s influence extends far beyond San Antonio, yielding revenue that positions our city in an economic rivalry with other metropolitan districts.”
The in-depth study by Professors Butler and Stefl underscored the “impressive” performance observed throughout 2022. Responding to these findings, Visit San Antonio persists in spearheading inventive marketing endeavors, luring leisure and corporate travelers from all corners of the world. The city’s iconic attractions and culinary delights take center stage, solidifying San Antonio’s stature as a global destination brimming with substantial economic prospects.