By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Visitors to Texas were greeted with music, snacks and lots of friendly North Texas faces at the annual Travel Rally Day celebrating Texas Travel and Tourism Week at the Texas Travel Information Center (TIC) Friday on Interstate Highway 35 north of Gainesville.
From the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) website, Texas Tourism Director Brad Smith stated, “In recognition of Texas' dynamic travel and tourism industry and its important contributions to the state economy, Gov. Rick Perry designated May 4-12 as Texas Travel and Tourism Week in conjunction with the nationwide National Travel and Tourism Week.”
Representing Gainesville at the event was Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Lynnette Pettigrew.
“We have met so many people today and have introduced them to some of our local history and what Gainesville has to offer including the Frank Buck Zoo and park, shops in the city, our wonderful restaurants and of course the fried pies.” Pettigrew said. “I just talked to a train enthusiast who did not know about the depot and is interested in touring the station.”
Wichita Falls District Public Information Officer Adele Lewis was at the event as several area cities came together to “meet and greet” travelers coming into the state from all corners of the United States and beyond.
“There are 12 Travel Information Centers (TICs) in the state with two located in our district,” Lewis said. “One is in Gainesville and the other is in Wichita Falls. The centers are on major thoroughfares and normally at points of entry into the state.”
Besides Gainesville, visitors at the Friday rally were met by other travel and hospitality representatives from: Bowie, Denton, Frisco, Nocona, Bowie Main Street, Collinsville Chamber of Commerce, Mesquite Convention & Visitors Bureau, Saint Jo Chamber of Commerce, Whitesboro Chamber of Commerce, Red River Valley Tourism Association and Ray Roberts State Park.
According to a media advisory from TxDOT, the “Travel Rally Day” shines a spotlight on the economic and employment impact created in Texas from spending by leisure and business travels.
Vital economic revenue is generated by travel and tourism.
Not all services are available at each TIC location but standard hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and 8 a.m to 6 p.m. on Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The facility is closed at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Travelers call (800) 452-9292 for: Travel information, professional trip-planning assistance and highway condition information.