Palestine Woos More Tourists

The City of Palestine is apparently a brighter dot on the Texas tourism map.

The historic city has experienced an increase in tourism dollars over the past year. Known for attractions like the Texas State Railroad, Palestine hopes to draw even more tourists by promoting the city's Victorian homes and antique shopping.

Old buildings, like the historic court house, have also attracted the attention of site-seers. Because of its unique architecture and history, Palestine has already been mentioned in various travel magazines like "Texas Monthly."

"The more tourists that you have come to town, the more things you can do because they generate the tax dollars that helps the community to provide more and more services to the citizens," said Ava Harmon, Palestine tourism director.

A report from the Texas Economic Department says sales tax dollars from tourism increased almost $100,000 dollars between 2000 and 2001, from $484,000 to $577,000.

And the city's tourism payroll grew over a million dollars, from $7 million in 2000 to $8 million in 2001.

The city's tourism department hopes to soon put up signs outside the city limits to promote its unique attractions, and bring in even more tourists.