"Travel Rally" promotes tourism in North Texas - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

"Travel Rally" promotes tourism in North Texas

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DENISON -- Annette Hand is driving from Missouri to Houston and received a Texas-sized welcome after crossing the state line in Denison on Friday.

"We thought, ‘What is going on over there?' And we thought we'd pop in and we got an apple, and a T-shirt. We got everything!" she said.

"Travel Rally Day," hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation, caps off Travel and Tourism Week, a statewide effort to draw attention to tourism in Texas.

Visitors to the Travel Information Center in Denison were greeted with food, T-shirts and details about tourist attractions in north Texas.

"It's a big boost to the economy when we have people coming into Texas, especially the Grayson County area," Tray Turner with TxDOT said.

Ivert and Jeanette Mayhugh know that first hand. They own an antique store in downtown Sherman and say they rely on the money tourists spend to stay afloat.

"We have a huge 50-foot billboard down here by Loy Lake and that is our primary source for tourism," Ivert said.

Signs also guide drivers on Highway 75 to another Texoma attraction, and perhaps the most notable: the historic site of President Eisenhower's birthplace. The Texas Historical Commission says Eisenhower's birthplace draws about 10,000 visitors per year, bringing with them tens of thousands of tax dollars that goes directly into Denison's economy.

Paul Kisel is the park superintendant at Eisenhower State Park. He's also on the board of directors for the Denison Chamber of Commerce and says the city's hotel/motel tax alone brings in $360,0000 annually.

"It's the revenues that are raised through tourism here in the local area and they basically assemble that through heads in beds, putting people in hotels in the Denison area," Kisel said.