Texas State Aquarium Made Half a Billion Dollar Economic Impact Over Past Decade, Report Finds
April 3, 2019
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Jobs and tourism resulting from the Texas State Aquarium’s operations had a more than $560 million economic impact on the Corpus Christi area since 2009, according to a report from Austin-based economic consulting and research firm Impact DataSource.
The report, which analyzed the Aquarium’s impact on the regional economy through Aquarium visitors and employees, indirect labor, and visitor-created jobs, as well as the Aquarium’s contributions to local taxing districts, also found that the Aquarium made a record $90 million economic impact on the Corpus Christi area in 2018.
Through its employees, patronage of local vendors, and its boosting of the local tourism industry, the Aquarium supported an average of 762 jobs each year in the community and more than $168 million in salaries over 10 years. Economic activities supported by the Texas State Aquarium also contributed more than $41 million to all local taxing districts and upwards of $338 million in taxable sales over the same period.
A major contributor the Aquarium’s significant economic impact were out-of-town visitors, who are increasingly drawn to Corpus Christi area by the Aquarium and spend more time in the region. In 2018, the Aquarium had 530,950 visitors, with an estimated 401,295 visitors arriving from out of town.
“Tourism and leisure travel continue to be a major driver of our local economy, and I’m pleased that the Texas State Aquarium can play a meaningful role in helping our region prosper,” said Tom Schmid, President & CEO. “Taxes generated as a result of our activity help the city, the county, Corpus Christi Independent school district, and Del Mar College. And with over 250 employees and a $17 million operating budget, the Texas State Aquarium Association is much more than just an aquarium. We also manage the Flint Hills Resources STEM Center, our Wildlife Rescue program, we administer a Wildlife Care, Conservation and Research Fund program, we manage an event center, and this year we launched an off-site catering program. All of these programs and entities support our education and wildlife conservation mission.”
In recent years, the Aquarium had made significant additions to its exhibits and other experiences and has grown from a popular regional aquarium to a leading state attraction. With the addition of its newest 72,000-square foot Caribbean Journey space, the Aquarium is now the largest in the state, and Aquarium officials are planning a new Wildlife Rescue Center and other updated exhibits and attractions over the next several years.