Texas Coastal Bend’s Economic Boom
The Port of Corpus Christi recently converted to a primary export facility from a long-standing import facility. “It’s a historic time right now for our port,” said Frank Brogan, managing director of the Corpus Christi Port Authority. “I’ve been here 27 years, and we’ve had more activity in the past two years than in previous 25 combined.”
The magnitude of the 20,000 square-mile formation on the Corpus Christi area economy is unprecedented. The production creates expansion all around including residential, retail, business and business trade. The business supporting the formation has created job growth vital to EB-5 Regional Center goals.
Dr. Jim Lee of Texas A&M University Corpus Christi stated “Almost half of the new jobs created in the past two to three years are tied to oil and gas, this is a lot. Compared to the rest of the country, which is in a jobless recovery, and even to the rest of the state, this is very uncommon.” Dr. Lee added that Corpus Christi is in phase 2 of a three-phase economic growth cycle.
Where Phase 1 consist of no construction with a mellow economy, Phase 2 has a booming economy driven by construction. The latter, Phase 3 would see that construction has given way to new industry and permanent area jobs. Jobs will not be an issue in this area for years to come.
This boom has made the Coastal Bend Area vital in the Oil and Gas Industry. Corpus Christi has been called the most important energy hub outside of Houston, which puts Robstown, Texas in the center of it all.
Texas Coastal Bend Tourism
Based on the 2010-11 data presented above, an estimated total of $1 billion in local visitor destination spending directly generated $574.6 million in value-added economic activity among the nine core tourism industries, or approximately 4 percent of Corpus Christi’s gross regional product(GRP).
Corpus Christi remains the fifth most popular tourist destination in Texas behind Austin. As a popular leisure travel destination, Corpus Christi continues to have high concentration of family vacationers. Leisure-based visitors account for 81 percent of the total visitation volume by visitor’s days.
An estimated total of 7.1 million visitors spent over 17 million days in the area in 2010-11, injecting over $1 billion into the Corpus Christi economy. One of the reasons for the high visitation is due to 60% of the Texas population (15.6 million) is within a three-hour drive.
When the multiplier or ripple effects are taken into account, it becomes clear that tourism plays a vital role in the Corpus Christi regional economy. The estimate of $574.6 million in economic activity among core tourism industries generated an estimated total of $756.9 million in secondary impacts across different industries within the Corpus Christi metro area.
Out of the total secondary impact, $460.8 million is indirect impact and $296.2 million is the income-induced impact. The total economic contribution of tourism, which is the sum of direct and secondary impacts, amounts to $1.3 billion.
This total volume of economic activity was equivalent to approximately 8 percent of Corpus Christi’s gross regional product (total output) in 2010-11.
Despite a solid recovery in 2011, the tourism sector in Corpus Christi is poised for further growth in the near future. Several major development projects are underway locally to attract additional visitors from around the South Texas.
Among these projects are two water parks under construction-one by Schlitterbahn on North Padre Island and another one by Hurricane Alley in downtown Corpus Christi. In addition, the development of an outlet mall in Robstown is now back on track after some delay.