New Report Reveals Houston's Hospitality Sector Is Stronger Than Ever

New Report Reveals Houston's Hospitality Sector Is Stronger Than Ever

A FEW SHORT years ago, the Covid pandemic had the whole world questioning if the travel and hospitality industries would ever recover. In a report released this week by Houston First Corporation, the region's marketing organization, it seems that those sectors in Houston not only bounced back, but are continuing on a strong upward trajectory.


Early projections indicate that more than 51 million people visited our city in 2023, up more than 5 percent from 2022. More than 23 million hotel-room nights were booked, which also represents a 5 percent increase year-over-year, and average revenue per room, a standard measure of hotel performance, was up a whopping 12.3 percent.

What could help account for those numbers? More than 60 million people traveled through Houston's two passenger airports in 2023, which broke 2019's record by 400,000 people. And Houston First says that more than 560 meetings and conventions held in 2023 led to 610,000 room nights. “Our ability to drive results for our hospitality stakeholders hinges in large part on our capacity to bring events both large and small to Houston,” said Houston First CEO Michael Heckman in the report. “Our team’s performance this year was fantastic, and it sets the tone for what will be another banner year as we work to capitalize on shifts in the market.”

Beyond conventions, statistics show that more and more folks are visiting Houston for pleasure, and Houston First is working with dozens of influencers and journalists to create content on the destination; it reports that influencer content reached an audience topping 54 million in 2023, a 60 percent increase from 2022.

Leisure and hospitality currently is Houston's fourth-largest industry by employment, and a forecast from the Greater Houston Partnership estimates an additional 10,000 jobs will come online this year. Final numbers are still being tallied, but the economic impact on the metro region is expected to greatly exceed 2022's total of $23.6 billion.

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