WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Wichita Falls saw an increase of nearly 7% of direct travel spending, which brought in $16 million in 2017-2018.
The rise has to do with everything from location to local events and activities.
For example, the River Bend Nature Center is one of the most popular places for people to visit in Wichita Falls. Those with the Convention and Visitors Bureau say that the thousands who went to the center last year contributed to the rise in travel spending.
“When you type in things to do in Wichita Falls, we pop up,” said Exhibit Curator for the River Bend Nature Center Jennica Lambert.
“If you're traveling through Texas and you're trying to get an idea of the local landscape, and animals, and creatures, and history there's pretty much a little bit of everything here,” she said.
44,000 people visited the River Bend Nature Center last year, and Lambert added that over 40% of their visitors come from out of state.
Also contributing to the rise in travel spending are hotel visits.
Wichita Falls Convention and Visitor Bureau Director Lindsay Barker stated, “Based on the impact we get from the hotel users we have a lot of business travel. We have a lot of travel from Sheppard Air Force Base, our conventions, our events, our attractions, and really Wichita Falls is a good place for people that might be passing through.”
It is especially true for travelers headed to Dallas.
But the Visitors Bureau is also making a point to make their presence known even before travelers decide to hit the road.
“We heavily market Wichita Falls. We are in digital print social media throughout the state, in 18 different publications. So, we are really trying to out there and put out this fantastic image of Wichita Falls so people will be excited and want to come visit,” Barker said.
It’s through good ‘ole word of mouth from people who work at places like River Bend Nature Center that encourages visitors to stay and explore more of the city.
“We’re all about spreading the love. So, if people are looking for good places to eat, we always direct them to locally owned businesses, other places to visit, other local museums and art museums, all kinds of stuff. There’s really no reason to be bored. There’s plenty to do in the city,” said Lambert.