Home – 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

State of Texas Tourism Economic Impact Figures:

  • The GDP of the Texas travel industry was $31.1 billion in 2015. Only oil and gas production and related manufacturing has a significantly greater GDP.
  • Total direct travel spending in Texas is estimated at $69 billion in 2015.
  • The travel industry directly supported over 653,000 jobs and generated $6.2 billion in state and local tax revenues. Without this tax-generated revenue, each household in Texas would have had to pay $630 in additional taxes (property taxes not included.)
  • The travel industry indirectly supported through re-spending of travel related revenues an additional 165,000 jobs and $9.4 billion in earnings.

Click here to view Dean Runyon Associates, Inc. report on Texas state and county economic impacts. Information gathered from research conducted by the Office of the Governor, Texas and from Dean Runyan Associates, Inc., Portland Oregon.

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):

  • Contributes $646 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
  • Supports nearly 6.1 million jobs across the U.S.
  • Generates $1.9 billion in annual state and local tax revenue.
  • Provides sustainable growth in rural communities.
  • Generates over $120 billion annually in retail sales across the U.S.
  • Touches over 10% of America’s personal consumption expenditures.

Click here for more statistics and studies from the Outdoor Industry Association.

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.