The Woodlands wins two ‘Best of Texas’ Awards

By: Woodlands Online Staff
| Published 05/19/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Two significant recognitions have been bestowed recently; both The Woodlands and Visit The Woodlands’ Executive Director, Elizabeth Eddins, have been recognized in the Texas Travel Alliance’s 2023 Best of Texas Awards.

Every year, the Texas Travel Alliance sponsors a five-day study tour for the Texas Travel Counselors, where they travel by bus to visit different attractions, museums, parks, cultural centers, historical locations, and restaurants in various Texas destinations. This helps the Travel Counselors better understand what these destinations have to offer visitors and disseminate that information with coworkers and millions of travelers who visit Texas Travel Information Centers.

Last October, the Texas Travel Counselors visited the Greater Houston region for destination tours, each led by a step-on guide from the convention and visitor bureau for that destination. The swift study tour only allowed a few hours for the step-on guide to showcase all that their area had to offer. Eddins ensured that the Texas Travel Counselors had an amazing experience in The Woodlands as she spent an afternoon leading them around the destination and sharing key information about The Woodlands Waterway, Market Street, the Town Center Trolley, and more.

In this year's awards, Eddins was named ‘best step-on guide’ for the Study Tour. She shared this recognition in a tie with another step-on guide, Laura Haces with Houston First. Laura is a former employee of Visit The Woodlands, previously working under the guidance of Elizabeth as the Tourism Specialist.

“Elizabeth’s passion for The Woodlands and the tourism industry definitely shined during the Texas Travel Counselors Study Tour,” said Nick Wolda, President of Visit The Woodlands. “She did an exceptional job showcasing what attracts visitors to our destination, and we’re incredibly proud that her expertise and dedication was recognized by the Texas Travel Counselors in the Best of Texas Awards.”

Beyond Eddins’ recognition, The Woodlands itself was recognized, having made such an impression on The Texas Travel Counselors that they voted it the ‘Best City/Community’ in the 2023 Best of Texas Awards. Visit The Woodlands’ tourism partners, including The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation, Market Street, The Woodlands Township Transportation Department, The Woodlands Resort, and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, worked together with Eddins to ensure that the Texas Travel Counselors had an exceptional tour of The Woodlands.

“The Woodlands is truly a special place,” said Brad Bailey, Chairman of Visit The Woodlands. “We are grateful for the support of our community partners who have made The Woodlands such a great place to live, work, and visit. It’s an honor to be named Best City/Community in the Greater Houston Region by the Texas Travel Counselors and the Best of Texas Awards.”

The Woodlands also recently received two Texas Travel Awards, one for “Best Shopping District” in Texas and another for “Best Art Festival.” These annual awards shine a spotlight on the most exciting, innovative, and inviting places around the state, and the winners represent uniquely Texas places and experiences that should be on every traveler's itinerary. This year, Market Street was recognized as the “Best Shopping District” on a statewide level and The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival was recognized as the “Best Art Festival” in the Big Market category.

Wolda stated, “It's a great honor to have Market Street and The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival recognized by the Texas Travel Awards. This shopping district and annual festival have been long-time favorites for visitors and residents in The Woodlands. It's very exciting to have them recognized statewide as notable Texas experiences.”

Travel and Tourism employs over 1.1 million Texans in more than 60,000 businesses working to make Travel and Tourism the third largest export industry in Texas. Travelers to Texas helped to create over $7.6 billion in state and local tax revenues, offsetting the individual tax burdens of Texans by more than $555 saved per household. In The Woodlands, the tourism industry employs approximately 2,800 people and generates $27.6 million in tax revenue.

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