People working to bring people to Tulsa on Tuesday celebrated what they described as the largest year of tourism in the city’s history.

Facilitating events in the area, Tulsa Regional Tourism sold 231154 hotel room nights (in the form of a family) and generated $359 million in total economic impact for events booked in fiscal year 2022. 1 million total economic impact in fiscal year 2019.

“I’ll tell you, this community has blown me away,” said Renee McKinney, who in early August took over as senior vice president of tourism for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and President of Regional Tourism for Tulsa. “It’s a spirit that can do. It’s so positive. The leaders of all these companies, these sponsors and this team are incredible.”

McKenney and others gathered for breakfast at Southern Hills Country Club for the annual Tulsa Regional Tourism Meeting, which summarized TRT’s fiscal year from July through June.

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Highlights included 319,268 event participants, 58 events at the Cox Business Convention Center and Southern Hills’ hosting of the 2022 men’s PGA Championship.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum is surprised by the numbers, particularly the exit from the pandemic that has crippled national and local economies.

“You’re throwing challenges at us,” he said. “We come together as a community and find a way to succeed, anyway.”

TRT is the certified premier destination marketing organization in Northeastern Oklahoma. Located in the Tulsa Regional Chamber, it includes visiting Tulsa Leisure Travel; Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau for Meetings and Conferences; Tulsa Amateur and Professional Sports Commission; The Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts, and Culture for the Creative Industries and Certified Film Commission.

“Just think of the year we’ve had — just success after success after success,” Bynum said. “It doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because there are people here in our community who are very committed to bringing Tulsa and the Tulsa area and Oklahoma into the world through tourism, through movies and music.”

During fiscal year 2022, the Tulsa Regional Tourism Team relaunched the Official Tulsa Visitor’s Guide, which is published on a quarterly basis and available at area hotels and attractions, as well as online at visittulsa.com/visitor-guide.

Part of Tuesday’s celebrations at Southern Hills was a four-person panel discussion about the importance of local tourism. The group included Steve Jenkins, director of the Bob Dylan Center, which opened in May in Tulsa.

Jenkins said the facility has received visitors from all 50 states and about 20 countries.

“All the hype that’s been about Tulsa in general and more specifically the Dylan Center has really paid off,” he said. “We are really grateful to the network of organizations here who are helping to spread the word. We certainly sense from our visitors that while Dylan and Dylan Center may be their primary motivation for visiting, they are discovering a lot more that the city has to offer.”

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It is located in a quiet, traffic-free cul-de-sac at 2804 E. 44th Court, Showcase Home of the week. Images courtesy of Bill Ramsey, FONT Photography



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