CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tourism has become the driving force of Port Aransas and its economy. In a study conducted by Philadelphia-based Tourism Economics, Port Aransas reported record high tourism in 2022.
The study showed more than 1,050,000 people traveled to Port Aransas in 2022, which was a 637,000 increase since 2018.
Charlie and Sharon Reagan are one of those tourists. They live in Dallas and have been visiting Port Aransas for close to a decade.
"Port A just has a great sense of community. Great art, fishing is great," Charlie Reagan said. "It’s got all the places, beautiful beach, the water is gorgeous.”
His wife, Sharon, agrees and said the area makes them feel close to home.
"I think the biggest thing here is that it's a family environment. We like the family environment and we like the sense of community here," Reagan said.
In 2022, visitor spending reached $372 million in 2022, reaching nearly double the 2019 levels. In addition, the $372 million spent by visitors generated another $192 million in indirect and induced impacts, resulting in a total economic impact of $563 million in the Port Aransas economy.
“In direct spending by our visitors alone, we saw approximately $1 million a day come into Port Aransas throughout the entire year. That’s quite a feat for a town that is just over 14 square miles," Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce said.
Visitor activity sustained a total of 4,925 jobs in 2022, including 3,632 direct jobs and 1,292 jobs supported through indirect and induced impacts. The visitor activity generated $88 million in direct labor income for workers and a total of $244.6 million which includes indirect and induced impacts.
"A lot of that really comes from the places the tourists stay," Wendy Moore, the mayor of Port Aransas said. "They stay in motels, they stay in cottages, they stay in condominiums, they stay in homes and a lot of that generators a lot of hotel, motel tax dollars for the community.”
With the summer quickly approaching, the hope is that these numbers continue to increase, resulting in more economic longevity.
“Tourism is the economic engine for the city of Port Aransas and has been since our city was founded over 100 years ago," Moore said. "But we would like to see some additional services and restaurants to support the local economy. The future for Port Aransas looks very bright."
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