Bailey among counties honored with Texas Plains Trail Region displays 

LUBBOCK—As part of a project funded by the Community Foundation of West Texas, the Texas Plains Trail Region continues to present tourism literature displays to eligible counties as part of its ongoing campaign. In the first quarter of 2018, displays were awarded to Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Garza Lamb, and Yoakum Counties, bringing the total distributed throughout the region to 22.

The displays help counties make tourism literature readily available to travelers, in a variety of sizes, at a variety of sites, and encourage visitors to find local places of interest they might otherwise overlook.

“Heritage tourism is a proven economic driver in Texas,” said Dr. Barbara Brannon, Texas Plains Trail Region executive director. “In small towns, history museums, historic sites, park, and other destinations, the preservation of a community’s stories attract travelers to stay longer and spend more.”

The sturdy acrylic travel literature displays, which can be configured for countertop use or wall mounting, come stocked with free publications produced by the region and the Texas Historical Commission, including the West Texas TravelHost Visitor & Museum Guide, Authentic TexasMagazine, and the Texas Heritage Travel Guide. Each county selects the location for its display, ideally a public location where visitors are likely to stop first, from county courthouse to visitor center to convenience store.

On Feb. 15, at the Muleshoe Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce, Brannon presented a tourism literature display to Bailey County Judge Sherri Harrison, along with Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture executive director Kaci Morris; president of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture and Muleshoe Economic Development Corporation executive director Kasey Coker; and Muleshoe Heritage Center director Gary Summers. Both the Visitor Center and the Muleshoe Heritage Center are located along busy U.S. Highway 84, the four-lane route between Lubbock and Clovis, N.M.

To display the many, variously sized heritage tourism publications provided by the Texas Plains Trail Region, the regional organization received a 2017 grant from the Community Foundation of West Texas to provide a multi-slot display rack to qualifying partners. The displays and the literature are provided at no charge to counties and communities, one per county. 

The Texas Plains Trail Region (TPTR), an award-winning heritage tourism initiative of the Texas Historical Commission, is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing heritage tourism to the 52 counties of the Texas Plains and Panhandle. The Texas Heritage Trails Program, founded in 1968 as the Texas Travel Trails, is marking its 50th anniversary in 2018 with a series of tourism promotions and is also celebrating its 20th anniversary as a THC program this year. The program, which is supported by a combination of state funds and local matching contributions as well as such revenue-generating projects as the quarterly Authentic Texas magazine, returns local investment at a rate of $8 for every dollar spent, and helps generate approximately $7 billion in economic impact annually from historic preservation and heritage tourism activity statewide.

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