MIDLAND -- There's only one way to describe tourism in Midland.
"It's booming," said Brenda Kissko, Tourism and Public Relations for the Midland Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB is the driving force behind business, sports and other events that come to the Permian Basin.
For the 29th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, the bureau is celebrating the tourism industry and its impact in the Midland.
"It's vital to the city," Kissko said. "These are outside dollars coming in being spent into our economy and staying here."
Kissko says the oil boom is behind the changes in tourism.
"Right along with the oil industry, the hotel industry is booming," she said. "Our hotels are full, pretty much Thursday through Thursday every week. They are completely full."
Travel and tourism creates 3,190 jobs and generates over $322 million for the city. It also generates $4.2 million in tax revenue, which could grow.
"You can't expect to come on a Tuesday and find a room that same day anymore in Midland," Kissko said.
A sign of growth, the Sleep Inn & Suites in Midland currently has 71 rooms and is consistently full.
"We are adding 52 more rooms and we're getting a meeting space that will hold up to 200 people," said Meshele Ephriam, Sleep Inn & Suites Sales Manager.
Ephriam says at least two new hotels will be built soon in Midland, in addition to some apartments. She says currently the average rates for area hotels are around $279 a night.
That high deman has caused hotels like the Sleep Inn & Suites to build on additional rooms. Kissko said more properties are being built, and even more are in the works to help with the growth.
"We are encouraging our visitors to book their rooms as far in advance as possible," she said.
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