How "Tourism Pays" in Galveston

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Galveston is known for its pristine beaches and world-class reputation for water safety standards, but the island did not achieve this status by happenstance. The public will now have the unique chance to learn how the island’s organizations come together to ensure beach safety, cleanliness and training in marine life rescue at the first annual Tourism Pays event from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., June 14th in conjunction with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol's Annual Fundraiser.

This family-friendly event offers the local community an up-close look at one of the many ways Galveston is positively impacted by tourism, and in this case, it is safety and sustainability. From high-end equipment used to maintain our beaches and protect our marine life, to meeting members of the world-renowned Galveston Island Beach Patrol (GIBP), residents will be able to see the positive impact tourism has on our island each year.

The event has been rescheduled and will now take place during the 23rd annual Galveston Island Beach Patrol fundraiser on June 14th from 6:00-8: 00 p.m. in the Coastal Community Federal Credit Union parking lot! We will have the following equipment available:

  • “Big Un” - Beach Patrol's flood Response Vehicle
  • Beach Patrol Boat
  • Beach Patrol Rescue Truck
  • Stewart Beach 4-Wheelers
  • Wheel Loader
  • Tractors
  • Surf Rakes
  • CZM Crew Truck
  • Refuse (Garbage) Truck
  • Beach Parking Unit
  • Seawall Segway’s
  • Seawall Vantage Van
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The GIBP annual fundraiser will be held across the street at The Press Box, 2401 Post Office St from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. While the event is free to attend, you can purchase a $15 BBQ plate ticket, cooked by the Galveston Rugby team, and you'll be supporting the Galveston Lifeguard Association who provides water safety materials distributed to beach patrons, additional rescue equipment, scholarships for the Junior Lifeguard Program, and scholarships for college students.

They will have live music by DJ Joe Rios, who has strong lifeguard ties, and you’ll have all of the beach people of the island in one place. Surfers, sailors, beach vendors, fisherfolk, lifeguards, Wave Watchers, Survivor Support Network members, junior guards, first responders, Park Board Staff, Beach Maintenance Crews, and locals who love the beach. It’s a great chance to let all the people that make our beaches work know how important they are to Galveston while supporting lifesaving efforts. And for 23 years, it’s been tagged the beach party of the year!

We will also present the inaugural LeRoy Columbo Lifesaving Award to the 2019 recipient. The award honors the legacy of the Galveston icon who still holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most lives saved by one individual.

“When you are working in the industry, it is easy to see how strong of an economic driver tourism is in the Island,” said Executive Director Kelly de Schaun. “A key component to beginning the community discussion of sustainable tourism is ensuring that our residents also understand how ‘Tourism Pays’ in Galveston.”

This family-friendly event will be a great opportunity to meet the teams, see the equipment, and recognize all of the ways that when #tourismpays, we all win!

First Annual Tourism Pays Event Details:

  • When: June 14 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: in the Coastal Community Federal Credit Union & Park Board parking lot across from The Press Box located at 2401 Postoffice
  • Cost: Free admission and open to the public
  • Parking: Free parking available on site

Join the Conversation

How has Galveston Tourism impacted you? We would love to hear from our community. You can get involved by sharing your posts or photos on social media, on a public setting, with the hashtag #tourismpays. We also encourage members of the community to join the conversation by applying to participate on one of our boards or commissions by visiting

How Tourism Pays in Galveston

Each year, the Galveston Park Board of Trustee’s Coastal Zone Management team, Beach Patrol, and Convention & Visitors Bureau play integral roles in supporting the tourism industry on the Island. The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau uses innovative marketing efforts to bring over 7.2 million people to the Island each year. Before they arrive, our Coastal Zone Management team works around the clock to ensure that the beaches are pristine for our residents and our guests. Once they are here, the world-renown Galveston Island Beach Patrol works tirelessly to keep them safe while they spend their days enjoying the 32-miles of beach Galveston has to offer.

At every phase of the visitor experience, special equipment and incredible staff are required to manage and run operations. When a guest checks in to a hotel or a vacation rental on the Island, a portion of the hotel occupancy tax collected is used to fund those operations. Over 50 years ago, visionary legislation established the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees and allowed one organization to focus specifically on managing those pieces of the visitor experience.

Through strong partnerships, forward-thinking Trustees, and dedicated staff, the Park Board has been able to grow the tourism industry on the Island by leaps and bounds since Hurricane Ike and our local businesses and residents are able to see that “Tourism Pays” in Galveston.

Residents save over $4,000 annually on their property taxes due to tourism generated tax revenue. Those revenues also account for 49.5% of the City of Galveston’s general fund, which is used to provide all City services as well as the numerous infrastructure improvements that have been completed and are in progress. Tourism sustains one in three jobs here on the Island. At the Park Board, our Coastal Zone Management teams have been able to purchase better equipment clean our beaches that also protects our wildlife, Beach Patrol has been able to increase their presence on the Island and purchase state of the art lifesaving equipment used to protect beachgoers, and our Convention & Visitors Bureau has been able to promote the Island as a national treasure and continues to lift the arts and history on the Island.

For more information on how #tourismpays in Galveston, you can view the 2018 Economic Impact of Tourism report as well as our 2018 Annual Report.

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