Report: Missions' economic impact over $110 million

SA's missions saw 1.3 million visitors in 2016

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Over the past year, San Antonio's five historic missions saw an estimated 1.3 million visitors, who pumped $110,688,200 in the local economy and supported 1,268 jobs.

In simpler terms, for every dollar spent at the U.S. national parks local economies get a $10 return.

The 2016 report was released by the National Parks Service, which oversees the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. 

Those numbers are expected to rise even further now that the missions have been designated a World Heritage Site, and when the city celebrates its Tricentennial next year.

RELATED: Missions inscribed as World Heritage Site

A spokeswoman for City Council member Rebecca Viagran said that she is hoping to attract more hotels and restaurants without detracting from the area's history and character.

Several tourists at Mission Espada and Mission San Jose said they're not surprised by the report's findings.

"San Antonio has a lot of beautiful places to visit, a lot of history," said Antonio Monge of Puerto Rico.

He's among tourists from across the country and all over the world who consider the missions "must-see" tourist destinations.

"We don't have this kind of history back home," Trevor Alexander, from Australia, said. "They're just marvelous."

"It's been an awesome experience for us," said Danny Santanu from Indonesia, who was visiting the missions with his parents.

All of the visitors who spoke to KSAT 12 News said they were doing their part for the local economy.

Trevor Maxwell said he and his wife said they’d spent money on “accommodations, food and alcohol.”

Monge said he and his family had done much the same along the River Walk.

“Love their margaritas, the ‘little’ ones, about this big,” Monge said, his hands several inches apart.

Sanatu said he and his parents had done some shopping as well, buying souvenirs to take back to Indonesia.

Maxwell’s wife, Julie, said she’ll tell all their friends and family back in Australia what they’d seen in San Antonio, especially at the missions.

“We will do that for sure,” she said. “Lots of photos, lots of memories. We’ll pass them on.”

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