Galveston collected $8.4 million in hotel occupancy taxes for the peak-tourism season, which runs from April to July. That’s up more than $3 million from 2009. Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston in September 2008.
Kelly de Schaun is executive director of the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees. She says those revenues only capture a fragment of tourism’s total economic benefit to the island.
“Right now, the taxes are based only on hotel occupancy, but obviously tourism generates entertainment opportunities, food and beverage, and retail, as well.”
De Schaun says Galveston spent about $600,000 promoting tourism this summer with a marketing campaign called “It’s Island Time.” She also credits the opening of the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and last year’s renovation of Moody Gardens with helping to draw more tourist traffic.