Often, individuals in the community do not know what the Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is much less understand the bureau’s role in the city. Promoting and marketing Beaumont as a premier visitor and convention meeting destination is the group’s purpose. To help fulfill this mission, the CVB partners with local hospitality businesses (hotels, restaurants, attractions and others) to provide visitors with current information and event details about what is happening in the city.
In the past few years, the local CVB has capitalized on the importance of nature tourism and what Beaumont and the surrounding area can offer to those who are interested in exploring Southeast Texas, especially birding. Beaumont’s location on the Central and Mississippi flyways has made the area a hub for birds, making it the perfect place for birders to visit. Within a 40-mile radius of the city, there are 28 Great Texas Coastal Birding trails that are ready to be explored. Four distinct habitats (woods, wetlands, marsh and shore), from the Big Thicket National Preserve to High Island, a large culmination of bird species descend upon the area, enticing birders from near and far to explore and invest their time and money into the city.
According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, birds and birding attract 45 million people annually, contributing to a total of nearly $80 billion to the United States economy. The 2011 National Survey of Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis states that bird watchers spend nearly $41 billion on trips and equipment with $14.9 billion going into the local economies the bird watchers are visiting.
“When I started this position almost three years ago, I could not tell you different species of birds, where to see them or the importance of birding,” stated Christina Majdalani Lokey, Director of Tourism of the Beaumont CVB. “Now, I feel like I live and breathe it. The birding industry is unreal. The amount of time and money bird watchers are willing to spend on trips and gear is something that we are excited we can cater to. I have watched people from all over the world come to Beaumont to check off their list of species to see, and it is an amazing thing to witness.”
The Beaumont CVB has invested in the birding community and nature tourism with the installment of the boardwalk at Cattail Marsh, located inside Tyrrell Park, creation of a Beaumont Birding Package for meetings and visitors and continued education and outreach. In 2018, the Magnolia Garden Club built the Wetlands Education Center at Cattail Marsh to support the need for nature tourism and educational purposes. Now, the Beaumont CVB maintains and staffs the building, using it as a hub to host different birding and nature groups, events and meetings.
The Beaumont CVB is committed to making the city and surrounding area a well-known place for birding in the hope to increase birding and nature tourism. Spring migration (March-May) brings close to 400 bird species to Southeast Texas, giving visitors and local birding groups alike a chance to check off their birding lists.
Whether you are an avid birder or just starting out, Beaumont is a great place for birding. For more information on birding in the area, visit the CVB website at www.beaumontcvb.com.