Sundance Square event marks agency's 50th year, $1.6 billion economic impact



FORT WORTH, Texas (April 20, 2015) - The Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (FWCVB) will mark its 50th anniversary with a free after-work concert on May 7 to highlight the impact of travel and tourism on the city.

The concert will take place in Sundance Square Plaza downtown and feature The Unlikely Candidates, with Kevin Aldridge and the Appraisers opening. Mayor Betsy Price will offer a greeting between the performances.

"The concert is our way of saying thank you to the citizens of Fort Worth," said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau." Each year they welcome millions of visitors here from around the world. That hospitality has helped put us on the map for travelers choosing destinations for a meeting and weekend getaways."

Mayor Price said tourism plays a vital role in promoting the city's image and generating important tax revenue.

"Visitors who fill our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop our businesses enhance our economy and make our city stronger," Price said. "Tourism is our front door to economic development. When people visit the city, for any reason, they often return to do business here."

In its annual report earlier this year, FWCVB reported significant results and growth:
• $1.6 billion annual economic impact
• 6.5 million visitors per year, a 20 percent increase over the past five years
• 14,000 hospitality jobs
• $840 in tax relief per each tax-paying Fort Worth household
• 40 percent increase in hotel rooms booked by FWCVB

The concert takes place during National Travel and Tourism Week, which highlights the impact of travel nationally. During the week tourism organizations will promote the theme "Travel is..." In Fort Worth, concertgoers will be invited to sign a commemorative wall with reasons why they travel and how they benefit from it.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, growth in travel and tourism jobs has outpaced all other industries during the economic recovery. One in nine U.S. jobs depends on the travel industry. In Texas, direct travel spending totaled more than $67.5 billion in 2013, supported 1.1 million jobs and generated $4.7 billion in state and local taxes.

The May 7 concert is made possible with generous support from Sundance Square and promotional partners Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.; FW Weekly and Fort Worth Business Press. The event is open to all ages. Activities will include a photo booth and Fort Worth-branded giveaways. Food and beverages, including wine and beer, will be available for purchase.

Free parking is available in Sundance Square parking garages after 5 p.m. with validation. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #nttw2015 and #FWpartyintheplaza.

About the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau
FWCVB was created 50 years ago to develop and encourage business and leisure travel to Fort Worth. Growth in tourism in recent years has been bolstered by new amenities - from Sundance Square Plaza to the Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum to restaurants in the Near Southside and across the city - and new and enhanced events such as Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, Panther Island's Rockin' the River and record numbers of citywide conventions.

The FWCVB's strategic plan includes advocating for more hotel inventory to keep up with demand, including a second convention center hotel, and renovation of the convention center space currently occupied by the downtown arena. Visit www.fortworth.com to learn more.