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Companies, travelers bring business to Irving, Texas.

Immediately adjacent to one of the world's largest airports and surrounded by 400 corporate headquarters, Irving, Texas is seldom considered a "tourism hotspot." However, thoughtful urban planning and aggressive economic development has kept Irving in the top tier for corporate relocations and retentions, which has a direct benefit not only to the city's financial picture, but also the hospitality industry.

Irving, with a population nearing 200,000, is an urban center in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area that boasts a top-notch list of corporate tenants, including the world headquarters of ExxonMobil, NCH Corporation, Kimberly-Clark and Zale Corporation. With these companies comes a constant influx of corporate meetings and business travelers that do make Irving a tourism hotspot--with visitors in business suits, not Bermuda shorts!

The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) works closely with the city's economic development team to retain and recruit this enviable list of corporate residents. The bureau provides a whole new level of economic advantages to the process, with room night incentives, complimentary meetings and other targeted approaches specific to corporate meetings.

"This strategic partnership [with the city's economic development team] generates positive impact throughout Irving. A healthier corporate community translates into a healthier hospitality community, which directly translates into a healthier Irving," says ICVB executive director Maura Gast.

Taxes, Taxes & Less Taxes

Nearly $24 million is generated annually in city and state hotel/motel occupancy taxes paid by overnight hotel visitors. Irving hotels pay another $20 million in property taxes, which goes toward city improvements such as new schools. With these tax dollars, coupled with the $456 million in direct economic impact annually from visitors, the tourism industry is directly responsible for an annual local tax savings of $309.42 for each household in Irving.
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Title Annotation:Special report: tourism and convention & visitor bureaus
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:May 10, 2004
Previous Article:Travel and tourism employ 16 million, and generate $95 million in taxes.
Next Article:Best spring Travel Forecast since 2001.

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