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Greater Houston Partnership Study Reveals Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage Will Boost Regional Economy

A new study by the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) shows the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage will play a large role in improving the Houston area economy.

“According to GHP’s most recent study, the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage will impact the region’s economy in a major way,” said Ric Campo, chairman of Houston First Corporation. “Though hard to measure, a conservative estimate is the Nau Center could generate an additional $11.8 million in tourism expenditures, support an additional 202 jobs, generate $4.9 million in industry earnings, and boost state and local government revenues by $926,000 in its first year of operations.”

The GHP used three scenarios to measure the Nau Center’s impact on regional spending, employment and tax revenues in southeast Texas.

  • Scenario 1 examined the impact a 0.1 percent increase in the compound annual growth rate would have on various sectors in the region’s travel/tourism industry. The assumption is that when the Nau Center provides a clearer understanding and appreciation for the region and its accomplishments, visitors are more likely to prolong their stay and spend more money. A minimum 0.1 percent increase was chosen because it illustrates how even a small shift in overall spending can have a significant impact on the local economy that can magnify over time.
  • Scenarios 2 and 3 showed visitor expenditure patterns and increased purchases associated with visitors’ centers in other states, and that impact when replicated in Houston. These surveys showed that tourists visited additional attractions, increased the duration of their stays and spent more money as a direct result of visitor information centers. So for conventioneers, visiting business people, tourists and heritage enthusiasts, the Nau Center will help turn a one-day visit into a multi-day adventure.

“The greater Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA continues to undergo one of the most dynamic population shifts in the country with younger people of incredibly diverse backgrounds continuing to move to the area,” said Mayor Annise D. Parker. “The Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage will be a resource for these individuals and their families, connecting them with the region’s rich history and unique culture, immersing them in the inherent can-do entrepreneurial spirit, and inspiring them to become visionaries who can help our region’s economy grow.” Cultural heritage tourism is the fastest-rowing sector of the tourism industry, with heritage tourists spending 30 percent more on average than other tourists. These unique travelers seek places and experiences that portray the diversity and character of a community and its people. The Nau Center will do just that, serving as a destination visitors’ center and regional gateway for cultural heritage tourism. Visitors will be introduced to the historic sites and offerings of southeast Texas, which includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, De Witt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Lavaca, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

“The Nau Center will be a transformational facility, the first of its kind in the U.S. to capture the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas through innovative 21st-century exhibit technology. It will inspire “Aspirational Learning” by building upon the big ideas of past legendary thinkers and encouraging young people to create their own big ideas for the future in a highly mixed cultural environment,” added John Nau, chairman of the Nau Center board.

Future revenue streams for the Nau Center will include visitor admissions, field trips, venue rentals for private events, sponsorship of galleries and kiosks, the gift shop and private funding. The Center will foster enormous economic benefits for the city of Houston and Texas’ southeast region, highlighting historical and archeological treasures, including the San Jacinto Monument, the George Ranch Historical Park, Galveston’s Historic Strand, Spindletop, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park and the Bishop’s Palace, to name a few.

About Houston First Corporation
Houston First Corporation is leading the effort to promote Houston as one of the great cities of the world. A local government corporation formed in 2011, Houston First operates the city’s finest convention, arts and entertainment venues. These include the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, George
R. Brown Convention Center, Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, Wortham Theater Center, Houston Center for the Arts, Talento Bilingue de Houston, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston First Outdoors (which includes Jones Plaza and other smaller venues), and Theater District Parking. For more information, visit

About the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage
The Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage will be a destination visitors’ center and regional gateway for cultural heritage tourism; an “Aspirational Learning” center with innovative exhibits, where Texas history and culture are experienced interactively. It will provide an inspirational quest for students, educators and visitors. The Nau Center will be comprised of a state-of-the-art facility, along with the Foley and Cohn homes, the only two remaining houses from Houston’s Quality Hill neighborhood built at the turn of the 20th century. It will be located downtown between the George R. Brown Convention Center and Minute Maid Park. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations

Dancie Ware/Brooke Grisebaum


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