People like to spend money here. In particular, people from Mexico like to spend money here.
Mexicans are the largest group of international tourists who visit Houston – and recently, their numbers have grown. In 2015, Houston received 2.5 million international tourists, 1.8 million of whom came from Mexico.
In 2016, the convention and visitors bureau launched a campaign, “Hola Houston,” to promote the city as a cultural and culinary destination.
“We aimed to increase the number of Mexican tourists to 2 million by 2018,” said Jorge Franz, the bureau’s vice president for tourism, “but we are already well beyond that mark for the year 2016.”
Mexican tourists also spend the most money of all Houston’s visitors. In 2015, on an average two-night trip, each spent an average of $1,253.
Franz said that Mexican tourists love shopping in the Galleria and at the area’s suburban outlet stores.
Many also visit the less- crowded luxury boutiques and designer shops of the upscale River Oaks District shopping complex. Mexican shoppers “typically go after the luxury brands,” says Jennifer Rivera, marketing manager for the River Oaks District. “They are big shoppers of Dolce & Gabbana, big shoppers of Hermés, and huge shoppers of Canali and Dior.”
According to the story, some twenty thousand Mexican nationals were in Houston for the Super Bowl. The story doesn’t give a cumulative annual number for the revenue the city and the greater region derive from all this, but between hotel taxes, rental car taxes, sales taxes, and just a whole lot of stuff being bought, I think we can assume it’s a decent chunk of change. Now ask yourself, what would the effect be if all this activity were to be dramatically scaled back, due to some combination of further restrictions on immigration and the well-heeled travelers of Mexico deciding they just don’t need this crap, as some of them featured in the story say is the case for them? It would not be good. If that happens, you can thank Dear Leader Trump and the people like Dan Patrick (are you paying attention, Texas Association of Business?) who enable him.