Rising gas prices not expected to affect tourism

The temperature is on the rise and gas prices are too. According to AAA Texas, the national average of gas prices are currently 20 cents more expensive than the previous month.

Current national average gas prices are at $2.95 and the Texas average is at $2.78. A month ago Texas prices were at $2.59; a year ago prices were at $2.20.

Although not a drastic change in prices, drivers can still expect to pay more for gas this year than the previous year.

According to an NPR article, Tom Kloza with Oil Price Information Service says, “The average family out there can expect to pay about $200 more than they paid last driving season.”

Despite gas expenses rising, CEO of the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce Julie Snyder says she is not worried about it effecting tourism in the city.

“I think increased gas prices anywhere will affect tourism anywhere, certainly of drivers. I’m not certain it will affect the Kyle economy. It may affect our residents more than our businesses,” Snyder said.

Both Snyder and Kyle’s Communications Specialist Kim Hilsenbeck have confidence in the attendance for the city’s second annual Pie in the Sky festival happening over Labor Day week-end.

“The city of Kyle is expecting twice or three times the amount of people from last year,” Snyder said.

“I don’t think it’s going to impact people wanting to come to the festival,” Hilsenbeck said. “When people want to come to a balloon festival, they’re going to come to a balloon festival.”

In addition to the hot air balloon festival the chamber is trying to break the Guinness World Record for most people named Kyle, and Snyder is hoping the rise in gas prices will not affect peo-ple named Kyle traveling to the city to help the cause.

Snyder says the chamber also has a golf tournament in the works for Sept. 7 and Kyle’s first ever skeet shooting festival planned for October and she expects these to draw a good crowd of participants from around the Austin area.

“I think we’ve got enough going on and not too much of a drop in hotel occupancy to where it would have an impact. Our hotels are still booked for weddings and that’s great, but we’ll defi-nitely keep an eye on it and see what sort of promotion might be needed,” Synder said.

Buda’s Director of Tourism Lysa Gonzalez also remains confident in the city’s tourism industry, based on strong hotel occupancy tax collections.

“People continue to visit Buda for our various free events, like the upcoming Red, White and Buda celebration on July 4. Our historic downtown is also thriving with a number of businesses that cater to a diverse population,” Gonzalez said.

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