TORONTO — Texas Tourism let out a big ‘yee-haw’ to announce its arrival in Toronto yesterday, where they shared the latest news coming out of the state with media and industry partners.
Taking place at the Windsor Arms Hotel, the event was hosted by Debra Bustos from the Office of the Governor Economic Development & Tourism, who stressed the importance of the Canadian market. According to Bustos, Canada is the second largest source of international visitors to Texas, only preceded by Mexico. Latest available figures from 2013 recorded a total of 453,000 Canadian visitors, with the top source provinces being Ontario (38%), Alberta (26%0, British Columbia (17%) and Quebec (9%).
Diverse, friendly and wonderfully charming, Texas is particularly suited to Canadian visitors who enjoy nonstop connections from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. With 1,000 kilometres of pristine coastline and a huge array of family-friendly activities and attractions, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do and see while in the Lone Star State.
For visitors in search of arts and culture, vibrant urban cities like Houston and San Antonio are sure bets, with everything from museum districts to symphonies on offer. Quirky attractions like the National Museum of Funeral History and the Art Car Museum, both in Houston, are fun for all ages.
For wine and beer, visitors will be excited to learn that Texas is home to more than 180 wineries, 80 craft breweries and distilleries and several self-drive wine trails (gotexanwine.org). Those seeking more adventurous options can enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding and river rafting, not to mention an array of water sports in the Gulf of Mexico. And if clients wish to simply relax and indulge during their stay, world-class spas and resorts await, like Lake Austin Spa in Austin, La Cantera Resort in San Antonio and Cibolo Ranch in Marfa.
Most visitors to Texas will no doubt arrive in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Here, they’ll find over 10,000 restaurants, delectable culinary walking tours, food festivals, food trucks and, of course, authentic Texas barbecue. Downtown, sure-fire hit attractions include the Observation Deck at JP Morgan Chase Tower, Market Square and the Natural Science Museum, while sports fans will likely be drawn to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and Toyota Center, where the Houston Rockets play.
Visitors are encouraged to save the date for a number of highly anticipated events taking place next year in Houston, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (March 7-26), the Houston Mural Festival (October), the Art Car Parade (April), and the Free Press Summer Festival (June). Of course, they can see it all with a handy CityPASS, priced at $75.90 for adults, and $62.35 for children.
Equally exciting is San Antonio, which boasts the #1 attraction in all of Texas. The San Antonio Riverwalk is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River and has recently undergone an expansion. It now spans 24 kilometres and boasts 17 hotels and 30 restaurants.
Other not-to-be-missed attractions include the San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Children’s Museum (now open), the world renowned San Antonio Zoo, the Natural Bridge Caverns, Morgan’s Wonderland and Brackenridge Park. The brand new Battle for Texas – The Experience is an incredible curated exhibition that showcases the story of the Battle of the Alamo.
With the convenient Go Card San Antonio, guests can get more for their travel dollars with savings of up to 40% off at many family-friendly attractions, including SeaWorld, Six Flags and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
For more information go to visithouston.com, VisitSanAntonio.com and traveltexas.com.