Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Cityscrapes

Market Street re-route proposal runs head-on into SA Alamo mythology

Photo: , License: N/A


That total of restaurant and food service jobs includes every single restaurant and food service establishment in Bexar and the surrounding counties. It means everyone from the Bill Miller BBQ at 1604 and 281 to the Taco Haven on South Gevers Street, every Luby's and every Taco Cabana, whether they see an out-of-town visitor or not. Contextualized as a purely tourist statistic by CSL and others, it assumes San Antonians themselves never eat out.

So HR&A and CSL really aren't correct. The "hospitality industry" may be very welcoming, but it's not nearly the same as the "tourism industry" or the "visitor industry." Indeed, the 2008 study that reported the 106,000 jobs in hospitality found only 14,053 metro area jobs at hotels and lodging establishments. It's those hotel jobs that are a much better measure of visitor impact. And it's easy to see the scale of local hotels on the downtown skyline. But those jobs too need a little more information to be put in perspective.

For the third quarter of 2011 (the latest count), the Texas Workforce Commission counted 13,006 hotel and motel jobs in Bexar County. Yet that amounts to just over 2 percent of the 598,000 total private jobs here. Compared to the total Bexar job count, including public employees, of over 732,000 it represents just 1.8 percent.

Those figures may put a slightly different perspective on the size and values of "tourism" here as opposed to "hospitality." They certainly provide a more realistic starting point for a community discussion about investing more public dollars in an effort to lure more tourists. And perhaps they suggest that while we venerate the Alamo, we look to a different kind of future.•

Heywood Sanders teaches public administration and public policy at UTSA. His column appears monthly.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus