Recovery of Tourism-Based Economies on the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey

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The summer tourist season plays an important role in Texas Gulf Coast economies; the Fourth of July holiday week serves as the peak of summer tourism activities. Independence Day celebrations generate considerable sales for small businesses and provide an important source of tax revenue for local municipalities. Both income sources supply communities with needed funds to sustain their operations through the coming off-season. The 2018 summer season was important for businesses that suffered damage at from Hurricane Harvey (August 2017). Income generated from sales during the Fourth of July holiday week will aid communities in their long-term recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey. Small business owners and chambers of commerce in coastal areas affected by Hurricane Harvey identified the 2018 Fourth of July holiday week, in particular, as a pivotal measure of business recovery, as well as an important indicator of which businesses will remain open following the summer season. This research focused on small business recovery in Rockport and Fulton, Texas, during the 2018 Fourth of July holiday week and examined recovery from the perspective of tourists and small business owners to identify business recovery trajectories during this key week and to benchmark business operational statuses for longitudinal recovery monitoring.