Welcome to the long hot, summer in Texas. For those of you in the state right now, here’s a towel to dry off after your dip. For those of you elsewhere, there’s a towel to dry off. No matter where you are, it is summertime and the livin’ is easy, as Gershwin wrote, and it’s one of our favorite times of the year.
In this issue, we have a round of spring galas that won’t long be forgotten, nor will the funds they raised by their many talented and hard working volunteers. Many were black tie and many were not. We loved them all the same in our region where doers and shakers make a difference no matter what the attire.
We’d rather take off clothes, rather then add another layer, so that’s another reason we love these warm days so much. A place where tycoons, the rich and fashionable and so many others peel out of their work clothes to leave the world behind is in St. Barth’s where we take you to this month at the über chic resort, Le Sereno, on the rarified island. It’s the haunt of the where supermodels, CEO’s, as well as families and newlyweds choose to make their destination year ‘round. It’s so hot you make have to take a dip after reading how much we loved it.
From there it get’s both haute and hotter as we take a look at this year’s best beach fashions and all the accessories (and some you’d never thought of) that you’ll need for a sizzling summer getaway. Since you have a choice of wearing less clothing, they should be your best and brightest choices, right? Look no further. Along with our favorite departments that offer insight and inspiration of all kinds, we hope will help your lazy days of summer be more productive. We’ve got your very best interests at heart in The Society Diaries.
For those who are staying here to work and play, the good folks at the Texas Cultural Trust recently shared some information with me based on some research they generated about travel, tourism and culture here in our own backyard. The facts may astound you and we are mighty proud to share them:
Travel and tourism spending in Texas surpassed $63.1 billion in 2011. Last year, travel-generated employment was 545,300 jobs with earnings in excess of $17.6 billion.
In 2011, the average travel party to Texas spent $782 per trip. Travel parties participating in Museums and Art Exhibits activities spent $1,246 per trip – 59 percent more than the average travel party.
Four of the top ten activities for non-resident visitors are arts, culture, and history-related.
Based on data from the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism and studies commissioned by cities, nonprofit arts and culture industries generate $2.46 billion in tourism spending. This translates into 21,000 jobs with earnings in excess of $700 million.
In addition, the state and local governments received $158.5 million in tax revenue from these visitors.
Inspired? So are we. So, take a look around you. There’s so much to do here and beyond, so save us a seat at the pool, museum, state park or heck, even the South of France, wherever you want to take us with you along the way.
See you soon at the start of the Social Season with our next issue devoted to everything you would ever wanted to know about cool weather style for 2013… like you’ve never seen it before.
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Lance Avery Morgan