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Budget Travel Magazine Highlights Houston

Publication cites the city as one of only two must-visit locales

There’s culture, glitz and glamour, and lots of interesting things to do in the fourth-largest city in the United States, says Budget Travel magazine, but most importantly Houston is an affordable place to visit. The publication named Houston one of the hottest budget destinations for 2011, in the company of other international cities like Shanghai and Sri Lanka, and one of only two U.S. destinations included on the list of must-visit tourist attractions for the New Year.

© Houston Airport System
The magazine cited several reasons to target Houston, including:
  • Luxurious and affordable hotels
  • More than 8,000 restaurants
  • State’s biggest shopping mall at 2.2 million square feet
  • 56,000 acres of green space
  • Third most Fortune 500 companies in the country
  • Affordable CityPASS program ($39 offers visitors access to any combination of six attractions – Space Center Houston, Houston Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts, The Children’s Museum of Houston, George Ranch Historical Park and the Health Museum).
“By no means is Houston a secret tourist destination. The millions of visitors who’ve been traveling into our city for years will tell you, few other U.S. destinations offer what we do. We’re a bustling metropolis with lots of good old fashion Southern hospitality,” says Jorge Franz, vice president of tourism for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “On top of that, our two main passenger airports are among the busiest in the nation and the world. Visitors from all over the globe can find a flight to or from Houston from our airports, and that is priceless for any traveler.”

George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby airport are conveniently located a brief drive away from Houston’s rejuvenated downtown. These two airports collectively served almost 50 million travelers last year.

Houston is also home to one of the nation’s most diverse populations – roughly 2.3 million residents strong, speaking more than eighty-three different languages. In fact, George Bush Intercontinental Airport employs a diverse staff of Houstonians for its Special Service Representatives pool. These individuals speak more than twenty different languages and work in the airport’s customs clearance area – the 784,000 square foot Federal Inspections Services facility – mainly focusing on making sure foreign travelers through Houston have a pleasant experience at the airport.

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