SAN ANGELO, Texas – It may not be a surprise that the ongoing pandemic has impacted businesses, especially businesses involving travel and tourism. The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday in the stables at Fort Concho focused on travel. Not only how to foster and grow travel to San Angelo, but also how it had been impacted by the pandemic. According to the San Angelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, in 2020 the travel and tourism industry in San Angelo lost 300 jobs, most loss since 2011. Many of those were from restaurants and retail.
San Angelo has beyond places like the State Park, Concho River, water sports on area lakes and the International Waterlily Collection. Also, the newly added flights to and from Houston are expected to boost travel revenue. But, the biggest source of travel to San Angelo comes from a sector that may be surprising. “Oddly enough, medical tourism was our number one reason people came to San Angelo last year,” said Diann Bayes, Vice President of the San Angelo Convention and Visitors Bureau. “34% of the visitors in 2020 came from medical procedures. That could be Covid related but we also know that it’s related to other things too because Shannon is a major hub for a lot of the counties as far as medical is concerned.”
According to Chamber of Commerce staff, tourism in San Angelo took a 15% dip in 2020, but the Chamber and local area businesses are pushing ahead, trying to bring back lost jobs and lost revenue. One way they’re doing that is by packing their calendar with events. Coming up from the Chamber of Commerce is Goodfellow Appreciation Day on Saturday, may 15. Also, for the kids, a four day princess camp in June.