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Irving, Texas: built for business.

When Starwood Hotels broke ground in their city for one of the nation's first aloft hotels, a select-service version of W Hotels conceptualized for business travelers, it was no surprise to the staff at the Irving, Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau. Located in the center of Dallas/Fort Worth, adjacent to one of the world's largest airports, with a corporate community that houses the global headquarters of numerous Fortune 500 companies, Irving is an attractive market for such developments

"This is a city built for business, and we strive to make the environment conducive to do business here," said Maura Allen Gast, FCDME, executive director of the Irving CVB. "Business travel is cited as the second leading source influencing executive perceptions of a region's business climate. It is in our best interests to make sure that the business travel experience is a quality one."

Although the Irving CVB primarily focuses on the cash-infusion of "transient" economic development by bringing money directly into Irving through business travelers, corporate meeting attendees, association gatherings and more, the bureau works closely with the city's "traditional" economic development office to retain and recruit an enviable list of corporate residents by adding its own level of economic enticements to the process, such as room night incentives, complimentary meetings and other targeted approaches

When city officials identified a need for a dedicated marketing center, they recognized that the bureau's expertise in selling Irving would be invaluable. The CVB created a state-of-the-art marketing center for economic development use. Just a few months old, the marketing center is a resource for businesses considering relocation into, or expansion within Irving. The facility has become a unique asset for Irving and Las Colinas, the city's master-planned community which serves as the area's pre-eminent corporate address, to help attract new development and corporate relocations.

"In Irving, corporations are our top attractions," Gast continues. "Everyday, those corporations lure business travelers, and those travelers account for more than 86 percent of the city's visitor economy."

The CVB's role as Irving's destination marketing engine is a vital one--certainly for the broad-ranging industry it represents, but also for the city at large. The fiscal stability of Irving's 75+ hotels on the real estate rolls add up to a significant portion of the city's property tax values. And with travelers generating $456 million annually in direct spending locally in Irving, visitor revenues make big things happen for this city.

Business Travel

Overall, business travel comprises 18 percent of total U.S. domestic person-trips. Business person-trips are most often taken for general business purposes (likely for consulting, client service, etc.) (44%). One in five (22%) business person-trips are taken to attend a convention, conference or seminar. One-third (34%) of business person-trips are made by those traveling for combined business and pleasure purposes. (Source: Travel Industry Association of America)
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Title Annotation:SPECIAL REPORT: Destination Marketing Organization
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:May 14, 2007
Words:470
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