League City to concentrate on birding, boating to promote tourism

(Courtesy city of League City)
(Courtesy city of League City)

(Courtesy city of League City)

As residents nationwide prepare to travel in the summer and fall months to escape the cabin fever coronavirus-related restrictions have brought, League City is positioning itself to promote birding and boating.

Stephanie Molina-Polk, the director of the League City Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke at a June 9 League City City Council meeting about ways the city can position itself to attract more visitors and promote tourism.

With its trails and creeks, League City's outdoor activities are strong. That is especially good in a post-COVID-19 world, as visitors will be more likely to search for nature-based activities to mitigate the risk of contracting the coronavirus, Polk said.

One thing the Texas Gulf Coast is known for is bird migrations. Birdwatchers from around the country and even the world travel to the Bay Area to spot different bird species, Polk said.

Knowing that, the bureau will begin marketing League City as a destination for birdwatchers. The bureau will partner with area hotels and create "bird packages" for birdwatchers who want to travel to the area, spend time in League City and travel around the area to spot different birds, Polk said.

Additionally, League City has Clear Creek, Dickinson Bayou and other waterways residents can boat on but not many convenient ways to rent kayaks or canoes to enjoy them. Polk said the bureau would love to see boat rental facilities set up at the city's boat launches to not only attract visitors to the city, but also to potentially make money.

"Our paddling trails are huge," she said.

Council members agreed with the idea. Council Member Hank Dugie said not many people own kayaks, and even those who do might rather rent a boat at a launch rather than haul their boat there.

"People will travel to do this. They will," Polk said. "And it’s easy.”

Sarah Greer Osborne, League City’s director of communications and media relations, said the city is already making progress on the idea. The city has partnered with Kayak Shack, one of two boat rental businesses in the area, for a July event that will allow residents to boat along Clear Creek starting in Heritage Park.

The bureau is concentrated on other things to increase tourism, such as marketing and branding to the city's strengths. The city could also take advantage of tax dollars from local Airbnbs as extra revenue, as larger cities such as Houston have done. Taking the steps necessary to secure these taxes is difficult, but Polk and council members said it should be a priority.

"I’m excited to see what the next step is,” Mayor Pat Hallisey said. “It’s a great town. Let’s make it an even greater town.”
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



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