Houston Zoo had $242M economic impact in 2018, new study reveals

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The zoo was credited with more than $242 million in economic impact to the Houston area in 2018. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

The zoo was credited with more than $242 million in economic impact to the Houston area in 2018. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

The Houston Zoo generated more than $242 million in economic impact to the Houston area in 2018, according to a recent study by economist John J. Antel.

The University of Houston Hobby School of Public Policy professor released the study Feb. 2, attributing the impact of the zoo’s noncapital spending on operations, spending on capital and construction projects, and spending on zoo visitors from outside the metropolitan area on accommodations, food, and transportation while visiting the region, according to the published report.



Antel utilized a multiplier taken from a manual used by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis to simulate the “chain of transactions” following the first transaction in regional input-output models.

“The Houston Zoo connects communities with animals to inspire action to save wildlife, and we’re proud to achieve this mission while contributing to the overall health of the Greater Houston economy,” Houston Zoo President and CEO Lee Ehmke said in the zoo’s blog post announcing the report. “Our commitment to our local community is evident in our dedication to creating the best possible experience for our employees, animals, and guests.”

By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.