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High gas prices not expected to affect local summer tourism

Hope to keep travelers local
Gas prices 3-8.jpg
Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 18:59:49-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to AAA, the average price of regular gas in Texas has risen nearly 60 cents in the last week. This sharp rise in gas prices has some reconsidering travel plans.

“I had plans to travel, but with these gas prices going up, I’m kind of second guessing it,” said Corpus Christi resident Rafael De La Fuente.

De La Fuente said he isn’t planning on going far, only to San Antonio.

“Even at that, it’s so close, but since gas prices are going up, all my money is going to go towards the gas, and less spending money over there,” he said.

Melissa Martinez is in Corpus Christi this week, visiting from San Antonio for spring break. Martinez said she and her husband had thought about not taking the trip when gas prices started to rise, but ultimately decided to come down.

“We figured we needed that break, yeah we needed to get out of town,” she said.

Martinez said she and her husband frequently visit Corpus Christi, but said if gas prices stay high, they might cut down on the number of visits.

“We’ll probably not come as often as we’d like to, especially in the summer,” she said, “But, either way we’ll make our way down here.”

Local tourism boards do not expect spring break to be affected by high gas prices, and even if prices stay high, they don’t expect summer tourism to be significantly affected.

“We don’t believe it will significantly break visitation, or the economic impact that this brings for our destination,” said America Segura, the brand manager for Visit Corpus Christi.

“Depending on the type of car, 20-40 bucks was really the only difference we saw per trip,” said Brett Stawar, the President and CEO of the Port Aransas Visitors Bureau.

Stawar and Segura hope higher gas prices will encourage people from larger Texas cities to choose to visit the Coastal Bend instead of traveling farther for other vacation destinations.

“A lot of these folks might plan annual trips further out, to Florida or California, or some other places that do take a little bit longer to go to,” Stawar said. “Now they can through the kids in the car and hop down to Port A, and be here within one tank.”

“This might specifically be true for people within our drive markets who are still choosing to come here and drive here, instead of booking an overpriced flight somewhere else,” Segura said.

Stawar does not believe drivers will be greatly impacted by the higher gas prices, but the RV or boat market might be.

“Those tanks take a lot more to fill up, they don’t get very many miles per gallon,” Stawar said. “We are concerned about some of that, we’ve got some great fishing tournaments that kick off here in Port Aransas all summer long, we’re hopeful that those turn out the way we expect. We do know gas prices can be a consideration for folks and their luxury items.”