Study Shows What Brings Tourists to Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/22/04

Study Shows What Brings Tourists to Lubbock

If you're a Lubbock resident, you'll be pleased to hear tourism in the city two years ago saved 372 tax dollars from coming out of your wallet. We all know what a great place Lubbock is and the Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to bring even more tourists here, saving you even more money.

Marcy Jarrett, Executive Director of the LCVB, says, "We found out they like prairie dogs, and that has been the most fun to watch residents' responses when they find out they like prairie dogs." Lubbock's history with the prairie dog may be a rocky one, but a new study paid for by the Convention and Visitor's Bureau shows tourists think they're cute, they'll come here to see them, and they'll leave money in the process. According to the study, prairie dog towns are among Lubbock's top five tourist attractions.

Obviously, Texas Tech and Tech's museums are also in the top five, along with the Buddy Holly Center. The Depot District made the list as well, but a small name change is recommended. Jarrett says, "I like the idea of adding entertainment to the Depot District name because that does tell what it is and what you can do there. So many in our survey and meeting planners say they want entertainment but they didn't know we had it."

The study found things people don't like about Lubbock too. It names dust and road construction as the main two. There's not much Lubbock can do about the dust, but the city can make the road work more livable. Jarrett says, "We're hoping the City of Lubbock will look at the signage. That's out of our hands. It's a city issue."

Frustrated, lost drivers won't stay and they won't spend money. The average tourist in Lubbock spends over $300 a day; dining, shopping, staying in hotels but what's missing, they say, is an entertainment district with shops and restaurants. They also want a interactive West Texas experience. Jarrett says, "The closest way I can explain, the best example I can give of that is the Norman Petty Studio in Clovis. You go in and can actually sit in the chair that Buddy Holly sat in. Now that's an amazing experience."

One way the Convention and Visitor's Bureau wants to bring memorable interactive experiences to Lubbock is by organizing day tours to the attractions of our neighbors like Clovis, Hobbs and Post. That way visitors see more, but still spend the night and their money in Lubbock.

Lubbock doesn't have a visitors' center, but funds have been requested to build one. That should improve tourists' experiences as well. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is just waiting for city approval to bring a visitors' center to Lubbock. They want knowledgeable people guiding visitors to optimize their time here. The funds for that are ready and waiting, paid for by hotel occupancy tax, a tax customers pay at hotels.

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