Galveston Island Draws Record Crowds for Memorial Day Weekend
Crowds Exceed 500,000 Visitors, Galveston Beach Parks Experience 17% Increase in Visitation
GALVESTON, Texas – Amid the soft opening of the new Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park, Galveston drew record crowds over Memorial Day weekend by welcoming an estimated 500,000 visitors to the island Friday through Monday.
Based on the number of cars that entered the island, last weekend’s tourism statistics represent a 14% increase over 2011 Memorial Day weekend figures and the best Memorial Day weekend numbers the island has seen in more than 10 years, according to the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The island’s five beach parks – where visitors pay to park and take advantage of extra amenities like showers, bathrooms and snack bars – also saw record visitation with 17,644 cars counted Friday through Monday – a 17% increase over Memorial Day weekend in 2011. These figures do not include visitation to Galveston’s popular Seawall beaches, where there are no entrance fees.
While Memorial Day weekend is always a big weekend for Galveston tourism, this year’s holiday coincided with the soft opening of the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier – a new $60 million amusement park that opened on the island Friday. The pier, a project of Landry’s Inc., features 16 rides, games, live entertainment and a full-service Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant.
"The more Galveston has to offer, the more we see visitors appreciating what is here and that is an exciting thing to witness," said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees that oversees tourism development and beach maintenance on the island. "We are glad to see new developments and our marketing efforts pay off for Galveston."
Galveston Island is a top tourist destination in Texas and is second only to the Alamo in visitation from both in-state and out-of-state travelers, according to the state tourism department.
For more information on Galveston, visit www.galveston.com.
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.