In a significant nod to its contributions to the state’s tourism sector, Texas State Parks was conferred with the 2023 Heritage Award by the Texas Travel Alliance (TTA) on October 17 during the annual Texas Travel Summit.
This recognition places Texas State Parks in the esteemed company of past recipients such as the Dallas Cowboys, Southwest Airlines, and Landry’s, Inc., a report from Focus Daily News noted.
Erika Boyd, president and CEO of TTA, highlighted the park’s vast contributions, stating, “Texas State Parks exemplifies all aspects of the criteria set forth in the TTA Heritage Award.”
The award, which honors entities that have made lasting imprints on the Texas travel industry, underscores the park’s pivotal role in promoting tourism and conservation since its inception in 1923.
Rodney Franklin, the director of Texas State Parks, expressed gratitude for the award, emphasizing its timely nature as the parks approach their centennial.
“To receive this award as we celebrate our 100-year anniversary speaks to the legacy established by those who came before us, and the continued dedication of our Texas State Park team today to create a welcoming environment for the next generation of visitors for years to come,” said Franklin.
With a diverse range of offerings, Texas State Parks attracts nearly 10 million visitors annually. From hiking and camping to educational workshops, the parks cater to nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and families alike, driving tourism and boosting the local economy.
The parks also play a crucial role in educational tourism. Through guided tours and interactive exhibits, visitors gain insights into Texas’ rich flora, fauna, and cultural heritage. This emphasis on education fosters a deeper connection between visitors and the state’s natural wonders.
Conservation remains at the heart of Texas State Parks’ mission. Collaborating with state agencies and local stakeholders, the parks champion various conservation initiatives, ensuring the preservation of native habitats and promoting sustainable recreational practices.
The TTA’s award announcement aptly summarized the essence of Texas State Parks, highlighting their role in blending tourism, conservation, and cultural heritage. As the parks move forward, they continue to shape the Texas tourism industry, attracting visitors and fostering stewardship for Texas’ natural and cultural assets.
The 2023 Heritage Award by the Texas Travel Alliance is a testament to Texas State Parks’ enduring legacy and commitment to promoting tourism, conservation, and education in the state. As they approach their 100-year milestone, the parks remain dedicated to offering unparalleled experiences and preserving Texas’ rich heritage.