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  Learn more about the San Antonio Area Tourism Council
The San Antonio Area Tourism Council

Through a united voice, we build value for our members, the industry and the community.
The San Antonio Area Tourism Council is a private sector organization comprised of hotels, attractions, museums, car rentals agencies, airlines, restaurants, transportation companies, tour operators, meeting planners, vendors and suppliers to the industry and other enterprises that rely on tourists directly or indirectly for all or part of their business.

Founded in 1995, the San Antonio Area Tourism Council was developed to help with various issues and programs to develop the tourism industry in the San Antonio area. It is managed by a Board of Directors who represent all segments of the industry. Our focus is to lobby and protect the tourism industry. Visit San Antonio is responsible for the sales and marketing of the destination.

Our mission is "To promote and support the development of the visitor industry while preserving and enhancing the special character of the city and surrounding area."

The industry continues to grow very strong with over 130,796 employees and an overall economic impact of $13.6 billion. The tourism industry plays a major role as a source of revenues for the city, county, other agencies and school districts. In 2015, it brought over $375 million to these governmental agencies.

Most importantly, the tourism industry brings over $14 million to community giving every year in the form of in-kind, cash donations and volunteer time. Research is conducted every two years on the economic impact of Tourism and what it brings to the quality of life for San Antonio.

What We Do
San Antonio Area Tourism Council We ADVOCATE for Tourism every day
San Antonio Tourism Industry EDUCATE our citizens of the value of the industry
San Antonio Tourism Industry INFORM elected officials and business leaders on the importance of economic development and how tourism improves quality of life
San Antonio Tourism Industry INTERACT with City officials and all city departments
San Antonio Tourism Industry PRODUCE the Economic Impact Study every two years
San Antonio Tourism Industry SUPPORT the growth of this industry including River Walk, Convention Facilities and our International Airport expansion
San Antonio Tourism Industry We keep an “eye and ears” on all issues related to tourism, by reviewing weekly City Council agendas and special meetings
San Antonio Tourism Industry We keep our stakeholders informed of proposed legislation or potential changes to City ordinances
San Antonio Tourism Industry FACILITATE meetings for our industry and members
San Antonio Tourism Industry We HELP our City leaders to welcome new tourism businesses
San Antonio Tourism Industry CREATE more economic development by helping potential investors and developers
What We Have Accomplished
San Antonio Tourism Industry Successfully lobbied support for major projects underway in San Antonio, including Convention Facilities expansions, Airport expansion, Convention Center Hotel, PGA and the JW Marriott Resort
San Antonio Tourism Industry Lobbied to City Council during city budget process for additional funding for CVB advertising and marketing (New Organization is now Visit San Antonio)
San Antonio Tourism Industry Assisted in the renovation and improvements for Alamo Plaza
San Antonio Tourism Industry Supported many city and Airport efforts for more non stop airline service, including Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Aeromexico
San Antonio Tourism Industry Lobbied state officials with tourism partners to start school after August 21
San Antonio Tourism Industry Assisted state representatives and senators with various bills introduced to help tourism and business in general
San Antonio Tourism Industry Supported efforts to sustain level of funding for state tourism, including efforts to merge Tourism and Economic Development departments under the Governor’s office
San Antonio Tourism Industry Conducted on average every year over 25 area presentations to civic organizations, schools on the economic impact of Tourism
San Antonio Tourism Industry Worked with San Antonio Police Department for past 6 years creating a Security Task Force to increase communication and training for area hotels and attractions
San Antonio Tourism Industry Supported tourism educational programs at both St. Philip’s College and UTSA
San Antonio Tourism Industry Started Economic Impact Study 12 years ago with the assistance of professors Richard Butler and Mary Stefl of Trinity University. The study is done every two years
San Antonio Tourism Industry Successfully lobbied with industry support the need to have additional advertising funds after September 11
San Antonio Tourism Industry Supported efforts to extend and improve the San Antonio River and express support for the San Antonio River Oversight Committee’s efforts
San Antonio Tourism Industry Successfully implemented changes to various city ordinances who may have otherwise affected our members with additional fees
San Antonio Tourism Industry Partnered with area Visit San Antonio and regional partners to create a better understanding of industry and bringing the Hill Country area to participate
San Antonio Tourism Industry Created more communication among all area organizations and partners with quarterly meetings and more interaction on specific issues

A Word About Marco
Marco A. Barros is the CEO of the San Antonio Tourism Council. He has been a resident of San Antonio since the pre-opening of Rivercenter Mall in 1987. He developed the Grand Opening and marketing plans for this successful downtown center. He spent three years working for American Airlines as a sales consultant developing new marketing programs for several new routes. He created several tour packages for Gray Line Tours of San Antonio and successfully exceeded over $2 million in charter sales for the local transit company.

He has traveled extensively in Latin America from Chile to Mexico and Canada assisting various businesses to set up operations and conducting research on new ventures. He set up Mexico Express in Monterrey, Mexico for the San Antonio Express-News, a direct marketing program to deliver catalogues and marketing brochures to affluent homes in Mexico door to door.

Barros often speaks to area organizations on marketing programs, how to do business in Latin America and opportunities to reach the Mexican consumer base, plus the use of hotel taxes for various tourism related projects and programs. He has spoken to the Economic Development teams for Governors of Zacatecas and Nuevo Leon in Mexico, as well as invited by the Warsaw Tourism Alliance and the Hotel Association in Poland. He is also active in theSan Antonio Chamber and San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and various committees for the Advisory Commission of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA), and an active member of the San Antonio’s Airport Advisory Commission.

He spends his weekends promoting youth sports and helping develop better sports facilities in the community around Bexar County.