In the News


January 2019


As we continue to rack up the “where to go in 2019” accolades, we’re excited to share Houston officially made the cut for New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2019” list (print version here). The city comes in at #46 on the list as one of only six U.S. destinations included, positioned as a place that is “rebounding bigger and better after a hurricane.” Additionally, 13 syndications of this article were published in the following outlets My San Antonio, Paper City Magazine, Paper City Magazine, Travel Wire News, Houston Chronicle, The News Review, Wolves & Waterfalls, Austin CultureMap, Dallas CultureMap, Houston CultureMap, Star Advertiser, ABC 13, and Bend Bulletin.

In addition, Houston made the cut in Bloomberg Businessweek’s “where to go in 2019” list. The accolade was picked up locally by Culturemap.

We’re pleased to share coverage of Houston in National Geographic in an article titled “Travel will change for the better this year – here’s how.” The piece explores “Top travel trends to watch in 2019” and includes an astrotourism trend, highlighting Houston’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the restoration of the Apollo Mission Center, along with the programs and exhibitions throughout Space City month in July. The accolade was also mentioned in The Houston Chronicle, Paper City Magazine, and MySanantonio.

Houston was named a “top travel destination for 2019” in Fathom. The list of 15 destinations includes Texas as a whole, debunking misperceptions about the state and calling out Houston for the city’s cultural appeal. This article as also picked up by Forbes.

TripSavvy included Houston as the top destination for the food obsessed in an article titled “Where to Go in 2019”.

Following his recent visit to Houston, reporter Nathan Borchelt published “Drinking Our Way Through Houston’s Beer, Food and Graffiti Scene” in Paste Magazine.

AFAR Magazine’s announcement placing Houston on their “Where to Go in 2019” list has been released in print.

Matador Network cites Houston as a top place to visit in 2019 in an article titled “The 25 places you need to travel to in 2019”.

KING 5 News shared an article titled “Which top travel destination of 2019 is your dream vacation?” highlighting the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, citing the surge of events that will make for a great, educational family vacation.

GoBankingRanks has included Houston in their roundup of “Best Travel Destinations for Your Money in 2019”, likely in trend with recent accolades received by national travel publications.

Essence included Houston in an article titled “Grab Your Girls and Go! 7 Last-Minute Galentine’s Day Getaways for Every Budget.” As a result of hosting the writer, Patrice Williams on the Gas Station to Gastro Stars FAM, Houston is included in her roundup of 7 destinations.

Brit + Co. shared the article titled “The Art of Traveling: The 11 Cities in America with the Best Street Art,” featuring Houston’s as the first city recommended.

The New York Times touted Houston’s culinary scene through the lens of two of Houston’s culinary stars, Justin Yu and Bobby Heugal.

CNN Travel including The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston in an article titled “The Best Hotels in North America and the Caribbean”.

Coverage of Houston as a culinary destination that appeared in TravelZoo as a direct result of NYC culinary event pitching. The piece also influenced additional coverage that included Houston in a “Best Underrated American Travel Destinations for Foodies 2019” article on BravoTV’s The Feast.

As a result of a recent media visit, reporter Ligaya Malones shared an article in Medium.com titled “The Amateur’s Guide to Visiting an Art Museum”. In the piece, curator Katherine Hall is quoted on behalf of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Houston ranked No. 13 overall across 182 U.S. cities in WalletHub’s list of 2019 Best Places to Get Married, citing affordability, and availability of activities and attractions as main factors.

Garden & Gun’s February / March 2019 issue highlighting The South’s Best New Bars includes Houston’s Goodnight Charlie’s and Tongue-Cut Sparrow, as well as an additional snippet on Miss Carousel, set to open later this year.

Fathom Away shared an article titled “What’s New and Awesome in Houston.” The piece is a city-guide feature and is a direct result of pitching Editor Pavia Rosati

The Houston Chronicle shared news of Houston’s ranking on Food & Wine’s 32 top cities to go and eat in 2019 list.

As a result of the 2018 media mission to New York, writer Julie Russell shared an article titled “Passion and a Leap: Starting a Small Business”, in Life and Money by Citi. The piece features Travis Weaver of Manready Mercantile.

The Hautegal, an LA based influencer, shared her experience of Houston’s cultural scene as a result of a recent media visit.

The Austin American Statesman shared a roundup of 2019 festivals around the state to kick off the new year, and included the Chevron Houston Marathon.

Leah Shah stopped by KHOU’s Great Day Houston to discuss events and activities around Houston.

A story initially published in AAA Magazine in which our team assisted, titled “Houston Dishes to Eat Right Now”, has been picked up by New Mexico Journey.

Houston First/Meetings

Brenda Bazan shared positive news about Houston’s upward trend in tourism with the Houston Business Journal in an article titled “Houston Tourism Sees Boost from Both Foreign and Domestic Travelers”.

 Mike Waterman spoke with Travel Industry Today to discuss the state of tourism in Houston.

Houston First’s LAUNCH designers took center stage at the Discovery Green fashion show, shared in Houstonia Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, The Neon Factor, and India Herald.

The Houston Chronicle shared news of Woodlands tourism board’s renewed partnership with Visit Houston through the Visit Houston & Beyond program.

Movie Maker included Houston in their list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2019: Big Cities”, which was also picked up locally by Houston’s Culturemap.

The Houston Chronicle, USAE, Houston Business Journal, BizNow, shared news of Hilton Americas convention center’s $37 million makeover.

SpaceCom received a lot of local media attention in the month of November, including: ABC13 Space junkies can blast off to this downtown extraterrestrial extravaganza, Chron.com Moon landings, space mining and Space Force capture imaginations at SpaceCom, Chron.com SpaceCom to Award $100,000 in Google Cloud, Click2Houston SpaceCom: This is what to expect as NASA, aerospace and industry come together in Houston, CultureMap Space junkies can blast off to this downtown extraterrestrial extravaganza, Houston Chronicle Moon landings, space mining and Space Force capture imaginations at SpaceCom, Houston Energy Industry News SpaceCom Conference and Exposition Starts Tomorrow, Houston Public Media Houston Hosts SpaceCom, Rice Investigates Bioengineering Professor, Trump’s Pick To Regulate Energy Has Texas Ties, And More, InnovationMap (New CultureMap site) NASA's SpaceCom lands in downtown Houston, KHOU HTOWN60: Inside Space Com at the GRB, Nanalyze A Stock for Underwater Robots, Spacesuits and Dark Rides, Space News SpaceCom 2018, KHOU, and KRIV here, here, here, here and here.

Association Conventions & Facilities showcased Houston from the meeting planners perspective in an article titled “Texas Passion and Pride: Welcomes all to enjoy this bigger-than-life-destination”.

Houston First Corp. was mentioned in a story regarding Sam Houston Park in both The Houston Chronicle and the Abilene Reporter News.

Kulture, located in Avenida Houston, was named by Hoodline and shared by ABC13 among the six best soul food spots in Houston.

Houston First Corps. second annual Sky Art contest launched, and was picked up by Houston Public Media.

Houston First Corps. Loop art installation was shared by The Houston Chronicle.

News of McAlister’s Deli closing was shared in the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap.

February 2019


CNN Travel article, titled “The Top Nine Reasons to Visit Houston in 2019,” cites that “Houston has never been more ripe for exploration,” highlighting the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the new lineup of options in the arts and culinary scenes. This story was syndicated to 13 different outlets including Houston Style Magazine, Philadelphia Tribune, KEYT, WYFF4, Fremont Tribune, Click On Detroit, Local 10, Channel 3000 (WISC-TV), Q13 FOX, KVIA, KXLY, KESQ, KYMA, CNN US Edition, Click On Detroit, KVIA, KXLY, KESQ, KYMA, WFMZ and News 8000 (WKBT News 8).

Conde Nast Traveler takes a closer look at Houston’s culture and culinary scene in “The Culture Crash, Seeking Art and Pho in Houston.”

CNN Travel also included Houston in a round-up of “The World’s Most Romantic Restaurants.”

New York Times article, “3 Meals, 4 Cultures, One City” features Houston’s diverse culinary scene. This was also featured locally in CultureMap.

In another New York Times piece entitled “Push to Preserve a Mark Rothko Masterpiece,” the publication features the Rothko Chapel’s restoration ahead of their 50th anniversary next year.

Vice’s Munchies article titled “Chef Nikki Tran’s Viet-Texan Cuisine Reflects the Breadth of Vietnamese Food,” is a direct result of hosting writer Diana Hubbell on the Gas Stations to Gastro Stars FAM.

The Takeout features a unique fitness experience that combines rage yoga and beer.

Chef Hugo Ortega shares “The Best Places to Eat in Houston” with USA Today.

The Post Oak Hotel placed #2 in USA Today's Best New Hotel category.

Houston’s wine scene has evolved to keep in step with the city’s high caliber epicurean offerings. The Wine Enthusiast shares “Why You Should Drink Wine in Houston, Like Now.”

NEA Member Benefits featured “5 Offbeat Ideas for an On-budget Vacation in 2019.”

The Robb Report features the “Semifinalists for America’s Oscars of the Food World, including Houston nominees.”

Texas Monthly recognizes six Houston restaurants in “The Best New Restaurants in Texas for 2019.” This story was syndicated to 13 different outlets including My San Antonio, CultureMap, and LMT Online.

Local Influencer, Carrie Colbert, shares her favorite places to eat, stay and explore in an feature for Good Housekeeping called “My Hometown, Houston.”

Houston First/Meetings

We received more LAUNCH Fashion Coverage in My Red Glasses’ feature “Fashion and Art Collide For a Very Special Evening.” 713 News also shared footage from the runway.

CultureMap, ABC-13 and CBS-11 (and here) reports on the DNC 2020 and Houston’s chances of making the final cut.

Houston Business Journal reports “James Beard Foundation to Make Big Announcement from Houston.”

Holly Clapham spoke with CBS-11 about the potential of Houston hosting another Super Bowl, stating “Houston has the attitude, the ability, and now the proven track record. I don’t think it’s a matter of if, but when”.

Meetings Today featured the city’s “Latest + Greatest” hotels as well as Avenida Houston’s dining scene in their article “6 Sizzling Dining Hot Spots in Downtown Houston.”

In the article “Meet Me in Texas,” Association Conventions and Facilities shared the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ experience in Houston, praising the Houston’s First staff as an incredible asset.

Brenda Bazan talks to USAE about the Hilton America’s $37 million Guest Room Renovation stating “Houston First is committed to making sure the Hilton Americas-Houston continues to set the standard for world-class hospitality.”

Natalie Young shares where to dine and explore around the city in AADE’s article “Let Houston Inspire You During AADE19.”

Convention South features Avenida Houston, the George R. Brown Convention Center and other venues for meetings and conventions.

March 2019


Following New York’s Times recent online article by The 52 Places Traveler featuring Houston, the Sunday print version was published with a different headline, “Everyone is Different, and Nothing Tastes the Same”. This article was also picked up locally by Paper City.

Last month’s CNN Travel article, titled “The Top Nine Reasons to Visit Houston in 2019,” was also picked up in the Philadelphia Tribune, titled “Houston becoming a must-visit destination”.

The Boston Globe describes Houston as a food lover’s paradise and showcases the city’s long history of overlapping immigrant cultures, and ever-expanding vastness that has enabled those migrant culture to settle and thrive.

AFAR featured Houston in an article titled “How to Explore Houston’s Booming Art Scene.” This article is a result of hosting the writer, Lindsay Lambert Day, during the Urban Canvas FAM in November 2018.

Houston was featured in Architectural Digest in an article titled “These are America’s 7 Most Beautiful Gas Station Conversions,” highlights Eight Row Flint in Houston’s Heights neighborhood and is the direct result of proactive outreach to the writer, Adrienne Jordan.

USA Today’s “10 Best” results are in and The Post Oak Hotel placed #2 in the Best New Hotel category.

TripSavvy shared an article titled “The Best Destinations in 2019 for Group Travel,” as a result of hosting the writer, Wendy Altschuler, on the Urban Canvas FAM in November. 

As a result of the PR teams pitching efforts at IMM, USA Today shared travel tips in “Things to Do Around Main Street in Houston, Texas.”

8 Cool Things to Do in Houston Now on Jettsetter.com notes that the city has some of the country’s best restaurants, bars and art scene.

Travel Agent Central highlights The Marriott Marquis’s Texas-shaped lazy river in a roundup of coolest hotel pools in the world. This piece also calls attention to the Mission to the Moon package, a core message we’re focused on for the moon landing campaign.

Culturemap reports why Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson his filming his PBS show in Houston

Houston First/Meetings

Houston Chronicle features the Houston Film Commission in their story “How ‘Robocop 2’ helped save Houston.”

KHOU reported on the DNC 2020 decision and Mayor Turners comments regarding Houston’s bid.

Holly Clapham-Rosenow was quoted in the Houston Chronicle discussing the evolution of Houston’s culinary reputation. From Space City to Food City, Houston’s brand is all about delicious diversity.

Avenida Houston hosted two watch parties for the University of Houston Cougars that garnered coverage from the following outlets: The Houston Chronicle, KHOU and here, Houston Press and KPRC

Avenida Houston’s Party on the Plaza kicked off this Spring with Mexican-American rock band, La Santa Cecilia. The Houston Chronicle and here, Culturemap and 104.1 KRBE shared the event with their readers. 

May 2019


New York Times featured the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the festivities taking place in Houston and beyond.

Houston once again makes it onto another "Best of 2019" list. CNN featured the Bayou City in their “19 Best Places to Travel for the summer of 2019.”

The National featured Houston in “Where to Commemorate the Summer of ‘69” and included the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Instinct Magazine featured food and culture in The ABC’s of Houston: Art, Bruschetta and Cowboys.

Forbes included Houston’s Asiatown in a roundup of “Must-Visit Saigons in America (Plus the Vietnamese Food to Try in Each).”

CultureMap Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth featured the “6 Best Places to Hike, Bike or Paddle in Houston.”

“10 Best Coffee Shops in Houston” were featured in Vacation Idea.

“As Houston celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the city continues to be a hub for the future of space exploration” says Selamta Magazine.

Houston was the first stop in a “Texas Road Trip” for Epoch Times writer, Ron Stern.

Travel Industry Today featured Houston as a city full of surprises with “Sky High Appeal.”

Yahoo News!, Hoodline and Midtown Press highlighted 5 Houston Burgers to try on National Burger Day.

Better featured Houston in “18 Trips to take Before you Kids Turns 18.

Ronnie Killen’s second steakhouse and his other restaurants concepts were featured in Wine Spectator last month.

Houston First/Meetings

Houston First’s accomplishments were featured by Today’s Hotelier and World Tourism Cities Federation.

Comicpalooza drew large crowds last month and media coverage topped 34,000 impressions, including articles in the Houston Chronicle, CultureMap, Houston Press, Houstonia Magazine, NBC/ KPRC 2, CBS/ KHOU 11 and ABC/ KTRK 13.

Travel Breaking News highlighted Avenida Houston’s new addition, Saltgrass, to open in 2019.

Michael Heckman talked about the evolution of comic conventions and the rising success of Comicpalooza with InnovationMap.



July 2019


Pack  Your Bag Challenge in partnership with KHOU is in full effect. This July, the team showcased The Houstonian Hotel and Hotel Derek.

Robb Report shared coverage of Houston in an article titled, “10 Extravagant Hotel Pools to Cool You Off in Style.”

Houston in the Wall Street Journal in the Rich Zips column of their Mansion section. As a result of proactively pitching the writer, Jessica Flint, River Oaks is included as one of Houston’s ritziest neighborhoods, highlighting the neighborhood’s history, hottest membership and events, home stats, and notable stops and shops in the neighborhood.

USA Today touted Houston’s culinary offerings in an article titled “10 places to eat in Houston, the country’s most unsung food city”. And was syndicated on MSN.com.

Parents’ Magazine’s Kids’ Travel Awards included two Houston hotels in an article titled “Blow Their Little Minds.” (print) and online here.

The Discoverer included Houston in a roundup titled “5 Surprising Foodie Destinations”.

Trips to Discover included in Houston in a roundup titled “10 Best NFL Tailgating Destinations for Football Fans.”

Houston was included in Food & Wine, in an article titled “The Ultimate Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary: 6 Days of the Best Food in America” is a result of working with the writer, David Landsel.

Travelzoo included Houston on their list of “Perfect City Breaks to Take This Year”. The article leads with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing as the top reason to visit and also details the city’s burgeoning art and food scenes.

WORTH.com published a Houston City Guide following a recent media visit.

Houston First/Meetings

The Houston Chronicle published an article titled “Houston Welcome Center opens in downtown convention district.” The news was also shared in Houston Style Magazine,

The Saltgrass Steak House opening in the George R. Brown Convention Center was featured in The Houston Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle and syndicated in the San Antonio Express-News, and the Laredo Times.

The deal announcement between Houston First Corp. and Airbnb was shared on Fox26 in an interview with Jonathan Newton, USAE, and shared across the Defender News Network in an article titled, “Houston’s Tourism and Arts industries receive a financial boost”.

The San Antonio Express-News shared news of record attendance for the Texas High School Coaches Assoc. held at the GRB.


August 2019


We’re pleased to share another piece of coverage in TripSavvy by Wendy Altschuler as a result of hosting her in Houston. The article, titled “The Top Dog-Friendly Places in the US,” is a roundup of cities that offer the best pet-friendly accommodations, dining establishments, parks and services that will make trips go off without a hitch.

Texas Highways included Houston’s robust arts scene in an article titled “A lot to see here”, which highlights art hubs throughout Texas.

Leah Shah shared Houston happenings on KHOU’s Great Day Houston.

Houston First/Meetings

Houston First’s President and CEO, Brenda Bazan “touts Houston as a convention and tourism destination” in a feature story in the Houston Chronicle’s business section.

September 2019


Houston was featured in Essence Magazine. The article, titled “How To Spend A Beyoncé Themed Weekend in Houston,” details how to explore Houston through the lens of Queen Bey as a result of pitching reporter Kimberly Wilson.

Travel + Leisure article titled, “The Best Places to Travel in November” features Houston as a result of hosting Pat Doherty on the Space City media visit.

As a direct result of hosting reporter Christopher Elliott, USA Today shared coverage of Houston in an article titled “Houston with kids: Space, museums and free stuff.” The article has been syndicated in over 50 publications.

How Stuff Works shared an article titled “The Wild History of the Texas Longhorn,” as a result of hosting the writer Mark Mancini during the Space City media visit.

Forbes shared an article titled, “Space Center Houston: Celebrating Moon Landings and Much More” as a result of hosting John Oseid.

Valerie & Valise published an article titled “3 Days in Houston: The Best Things to See & Do,” as a result of the Space City media visit.

As a result of hosting Wendy Altschuler with Red Tricycle, Houston was included in an article titled “Amazing Resorts & Hotels That Welcome Pets.”
Reader’s Digest article titled “14 NASA Sites Every Space Nerd Must Visit,” is a result of hosting Jeff Bogle.

Smarter Traveler shared “The 19 Best Things to Do in Houston” following Sarah Schlichter’s recent visit.

Bon Appetit included Houston’s own Blood Bros. BBQ in their list of “50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2019” list.

Houston was featured in the Washington Post in an article/city guide, titled “A Local’s Guide to Houston,” showcases the best of the city through the eyes of Houston local Drew Jones. Note within the article is a section titled “One Square Mile.” This section features smaller neighborhood guides, including The Heights, Eado, and Montrose.

Reporter Jeff Bogle’s recent visit to Houston resulted in a story in Family Vacation Critic titled “13 Best Cruise Ports, Ranked

Elliott Advocacy shared an article titled “Houston with kids: A far-out adventure in Texas,” as a result of hosting Chris Elliott in July.

Matador Network included Houston in an article titled “9 US Cities that are Super Easy to Explore on Foot”.

Houston First/Meetings

Holly Clapham-Rosenow spoke to the Houston Chronicle about the James Beard Award changes acknowledging Texas as a distinct culinary stronghold. The article has been syndicated in four publications.

The CWT Meetings & Events 2020 Future Trends report is out and Houston is on the list for top 10 destinations on the rise.

The Houston Business Journal shared news of Saltgrass Steakhouse opening at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Houston Public Media and Houston First are paying tribute to the diversity in our region by spotlighting Houstonians from various communities in conjunction with national awareness months.

Culturemap Houston reported on the reasoning behind marketing Houston within the Houston DMA, which includes 19 counties.

October 2019


Essence featured Houston’s culinary scene in an article titled “Essence Eats: Treat Yourself to the Finest Dining Money Can Buy in Houston,” as a result of hosting writer Dwight Brown.

Houston was covered in Forbes in an article titled “Post Oak Hotel At Uptown Houston: The New It Address In Space City” as a result of hosting the writer John Oseid during the Space City campaign.

Forbes featured Houston in two articles titled “In Houston, A Hot Culinary Scene Has Some Hot New Entrants.” following writer John Oseid’s recent visit. A second article, “Part II” followed.

As a result of hosting an LGBTQ media group in October, we’re pleased to share the first piece of coverage in TravelPulse titled “Houston Making a Name for Itself as a Queer Destination.”

Oyster article, titled “8 Underrated U.S. Destinations That Should Be on Your Radar in 2020,” highlights Houston as result of hosting her during the moon landing campaign.

We’re pleased to share coverage of Houston in three separate UPROXX articles. All three articles are a result of pitching the writer, Christopher Osburn. Articles include: We Asked Bartenders To Name The Best Non-Chill-Filtered Whiskeys On The Market, Bartenders Name The Best High Rye Bourbons For Fall 2019, and We Asked Bartenders The Best Bourbons For Cooking.

Sarah Schlichter, who recently visited Houston, published two articles in Smarter Travel titled “Best Houston Restaurants” and “Shopping in Houston Guide.”

Sarah Schlichter also published an article for Trip Advisor titled “Houston for Art Lovers”.

Houston was included in Red Tricycle in an article titled “17 Winter Vacation Ideas to Book Now” as a result of hosting the writer Wendy Altschuler.

An article in Working Mother titled “The 10 Best Fall Festivals for Families to Visit in 2019,” is a result of working with the writer, Maricar Santos.

Conde Nast Traveler featured Houston in a series of articles including “23 Best Restaurants in Houston”, “17 Best Things to Do in Houston”, “11 Best BBQ Places in Houston 8 Best Brunch Places in Houston

Food & Wine raved about UB Preserv’s brunch in an article titled “Is This Houston Chef Making the Most Interesting Brunch in America? Probably.”  

Leah Shah stopped by KHOU’s Great Day Houston to discuss things to do in Houston.

Houston First/Meetings

Holly Clapham-Rosenow was named a Houston Business Journal “2019 Women Who Mean Business” Honoree.

Meetings Today shared an article titled “Space City Soars: Fifty years after Apollo 11, Houston is aiming higher than ever.” This is a result of pitching reporter Jeff Heilman and includes an interview with President & CEO Brenda Bazan.

News of Jones Plaza's renaming and renovation was shared across multiple media outlets, (as well as the attached PDF of Houston Chronicle front page story). Additional outlets include the Houston Business Journal, the Houston Chronicle (and syndicated in MSN.com, MySA and Laredo Times), Culturemap Houston, Houston Public Media, PaperCity Magazine (attached PDF), KIAH Morning Dose, KHOU 11 News at 6PM, KPRC Channel 2 News at 4pm, and 13 Eyewitness News at 5am, and Texas Non Profits.

Board Chair David Mincberg spoke with KUHF (Part I, Part II) to discuss how improvement projects like the reinvention of Jones Plaza bring tourism and conferences to Houston.

Meetings & Incentive Travel highlighted the ICCA Conference held in Houston in an article titled “Largest ICCA Congress ever held in North America kicks off”. Additional outlets include Smart Meetings, Ami Magazine.