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Texas Distillery Tourism Brings In More Than $830 Million For State Economy

Tourism Economics, a subsidiary of Oxford Economics, has released the results of a new study into the effects of distillery tourism in Texas during 2022. The new study has found that distillery tourism has generated $831.7 million for the state economy. 

The 188 distillers in Texas have played “a critical role in the state’s economy not only by generating sales, but by increasing tourism and the many industries positively impacted by visitors,” according to Michael Mariano, head of economic development at Tourism Economics. 

The study looked at factors including the on-site and off-site spending by visitors to distilleries and the impacts of distillery tourism on employment and labor income. 

Here are some of the key findings from the study: 

  • Economic impact of $831.7 million statewide 
  • 2,089,000 visitors to distilleries in Texas 
  • 7,700 jobs 
  • $42.5 million in state and local tax revenues 

In addition to spending at distilleries, visitors from out of state spent an estimated $459 million on food and beverages, lodging, retail, recreation, and transportation. 

Speaking about the continued growth of the Texas distilling industry and the subsequent tourism, Mike Cameron, president of the Texas Distilled Spirits Association, said:

The COVID-19 pandemic was tough on Texas distillers and the Texas tourism industry as a whole. Still, Texas makes terrific spirits and that draws visitors from near and far to the state. We are ecstatic that consumers are visiting our distilleries, sampling our products and falling in love with Texas distilled spirits. Supporting our local distilleries by supporting laws that help us compete in the marketplace has great benefit for the state.”

Calls For Change To Texas Spirits Regulations 

Amid this booming growth, there are calls for Texas to readdress historic laws on spirits sales. For example, the stringent regulation on alcohol sales on Sundays and public holidays could well be limiting the economic benefits of distilled spirits. 

Andy Deloney, senior vice president & head of state public policy at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said: 

“This study makes clear that continued growth of the Texas distilling industry presents great opportunities for the state, and that the collective economic contributions of these small businesses could be even greater if antiquated laws restricting spirits sales were updated. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles Texas distillers face when operating in the state with less market access, restricted sales days and higher taxes. Given the popularity of Texas distilleries and their important role in the state’s economy, these outdated laws simply don’t make sense. It’s time to modernize Texas alcohol laws to help support this growing industry and spirits consumers throughout the state.”

Deloney’s comments come just weeks after the news of proposed restrictions on bourbon buying in Kentucky

Texas is home to numerous whiskey distilleries including Milam & Greene, Garrison Brothers, Still Austin Whiskey Co., and Maverick Whiskey.

How Jim Beam Survived Prohibition

This is the fascinating story of Prohibition’s impact and Jim Beam’s subsequent recovery, revitalizing America’s bourbon industry. 

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