Natural Gas NOW
Contrary to the hyperbole of fractivists, tourism and shale gas development are not only compatible but complementary; it takes an economy to draw tourism.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating electronically in a program conducted in the UK to discuss the potential impacts of shale gas development on tourism in the Lancashire region. The connection was poor, so I offered to do a follow-up video of my own capturing the essence of my remarks for sharing with those who attended.
The thrust of my presentation to the UK folks was simply this; one cannot have a flourishing tourism industry without an economy to support it. Tourism, by its nature, is typically seasonal and key elements of the tourism infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants need to pay bills in the off-season, which means having a core economy that can carry the load during this period until the good times roll again. I live in the Poconos section of Pennsylvania and I can’t tell how glad the owners of our favorite restaurants are to see us in February and March when visiting New Yorkers are few and far between. They survive on our business in the winter and are only there for the tourists in the summer because we helped get them there.
The reverse is also true, of course, but the point is that tourism can only truly develop to its full potential when there is other economic activity as well. This is why tourism and shale go together. The data proves it and I shared some of the most salient facts in this video presentation, which speaks for itself:
Energy In Depth has also gathered together some very compelling must-read data on tourism and shale, including this infographic as well as additional data on California and Florida here.
Notice, for example, that North Dakota, the state left for dead a few years earlier, led the increase in tourism growth in 2013 as fracking in the Bakken made it one the biggest success stories of the 21st century to date. Not only that, but the Marcellus Shale counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania, traditionally known better as part of the Rust Belt, had the 2nd largest increase in traveler spending in the Commonwealth from 2013-2014. Finally, the Texas tourism industry contributed over $32 billion to the state’s GDP in 2015; this being second only to the oil and gas industry.
Yes, tourism and shale go together quite nicely indeed as this graphic from one of our previous posts on the subject demonstrates: