Having been supported by the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce for many years, the city’s Visitors Bureau will now operate as its own entity.
According to a press release, the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau has been approved as an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and will be reorganized to support the needs of area businesses that serve tourism and travel.
The bureau, first established in 1984, and supported by the Chamber of Commerce, will now become a separate and independent organization.
Pam Owens, who has been the Visitors Bureau director since 2012, will be named as president and CEO of the organization. According to Owens, it will be restructured to enable the bureau to focus on the travel and tourism market.
“We are extremely grateful to the Chamber who has always supported the Visitors Bureau even in its infancy, but the reality is the tourism business and the work of the bureau has expanded beyond Dripping Springs … Now the bureau will be in a position to provide a broader range of services and added support to more area businesses associated with the tourism industry.” Pam Owens, Visitors Bureau director
In past years, the number of people who traveled through Dripping Springs on Highway 290 has exceeded 1.5 million.
The new Visitors Bureau will continue to be located next door to Dripping Springs City Hall on Mercer Street, just off of Highway 290.
“Our role is to make Dripping Springs a major tourist destination. Our task is to provide those who travel through Dripping Springs a reason to stop, shop, and stay in our city. We want Dripping Springs to be known more than the Gateway to the Hill Country – it is a destination,” Owens said.
Under the direction of the Chamber, the bureau has become a “major marketing force” in increasing the number of visitors and vacationers who travel to Dripping Springs each year, according to the release.
The Chamber led the effort to make Dripping Springs the Wedding Capital of Texas, which was passed as a House resolution in the Texas Legislature in 2015. The Chamber also helps to support wineries, breweries and distilleries through referrals as well as through the annual Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival.
“We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish, but our primary role is to serve all our business membership internally,” Sherrie Parks, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said.
The Chamber, which has more than 620 members in the Dripping Springs market, provides local businesses support by offering numerous services to its members to aid them in their development efforts and sales programs.
The decision to make the Visitors Bureau a separate organization was based on the increasing number of tourism related businesses.
“The Chamber will continue to be part of a joint effort to make Dripping Springs a point of interest for visitors,” Owens said. “The fact is, visitors and vacationers create buyers for local merchants and that is beneficial for our local economy.”