Welcome to Nature Tourism at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension

Helping communities, landowners,  businesses and travelers with nature based recreation & tourism  skills, planning, development, management and marketing.

Adventure |  Agritourism | Fishing |  Hunting

We provide educational programs for the public, private business-both for profit and non-profit, landowners, and community leaders. Nature Tourism is a term used to encompass the broad range of natural resource based recreation and tourism activities. Please make use of the resources on this site and we welcome your success stories both big and small. We would like to hear about your needs and suggestions for content and training programs.

Texas Tourism Facts

Total direct travel spending in Texas in 2010 was $57.5 billion (includes spending at destinations as well as resident air travel and travel agencies) which supported 529,000 jobs with earnings of $16.5 billion that generated $7.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes. (TravelTex)

The Economics of Nature Tourism

  • In 2011, 90.1 million Americans, 38% of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-associated recreation. Outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to our nation’s economy.
  • Expenditures by hunters, anglers and wildlife recreation enthusiasts were $145.0 billion.
  • This equates to 1% of gross domestic product; meaning one out of every one hundred dollars of all goods and services produced in the U.S. is due to wildlife related recreation. Almost 37.4 million Americans participated in fishing, hunting or both sports in 2011.
  • Click here for more economic stats on Nature Tourism

The Recreation Economy

According to a study from the Outdoor Industry Association, nature-based tourism has a large national economic footprint (please note that the numbers below reflect national totals): For more statistics and studies, click here.

  • Contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
  • Supports nearly 6.5 million jobs across the U.S.
  • Generates $88 billion in annual state and national tax revenue.
  • Provides sustainable growth in rural communities.
  • Generates $289 billion annually in retail sales and services across the U.S.
  • Touches over 8% of America’s personal consumption expenditures— more than 1 in every 12 dollars circulating in the economy.

Contact Information

Miles Phillips, Nature Tourism Program Director

Phone: 979-845-1023

E-mail: mdphillips@ag.tamu.edu.

The Extension Nature Tourism program is one of multiple programs within the Recreation Park and Tourism Extension Unit. Please see the RPTS Extension web page for information about our other programs.