AUSTIN – The Board of Directors and Members of the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association, TBBA, recently appointed Carol Conlee, of Tres Lunas Resort, as the new Vice-President of Membership at the 27th Annual Convention and Trade Show held at the Wyndam Hotel and Conference Center in Austin.Conlee participated in the ‘Convergence On The Capital’ in February, speaking directly with State Representative Harvey Hilderbran and State Senator Troy Fraser in an appeal to limit the cuts to Texas Tourism Funding, which was slated for a drastic slash. Texas Tourism is now ranked as a ‘no cost’ funded item based on the industry’s ability to bring in an average of $7 for every $1 spent on tourism. In addition, of the amount of money generated by tourism, only one twelfth of that money goes back into the tourism budget. Eleven twelfths goes back into the general fund for education, health care and other appropriations. The Legislature’s decision to keep that line item steady further underscores the importance of tourism to the Texas economy.Scott Joslove, President and CEO of the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, keynote speaker at the TBBA Convention told attendees, “The convergence was a huge success and, yes, at the eleventh hour, after much push-and-pull, the Legislature did give the allotted $48 million in funds to continue to promote travel and tourism in Texas,” TBBA is a division of TH&L representing distinctive hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s, guest ranches, small resorts and tourism related businesses throughout the State.“When small communities, such as Mason, can create a destination cluster of B&B’s, wineries, unique shopping experiences, enrichment centers, like our Odeon Theater, our museums and art galleries, folks want to ‘drop out of their lives’ and ‘test drive’ ours in order to re-create their own lives. Re-create is the root word for recreation and it is necessary for a full and thriving life-style”, says Conlee. “The secondary and tertiary monetary benefits to Mason occur when tourists, or travelers, come to or through our area and stop. They spend money on food, gas, lodging and shopping. The TBBA and the TH&L helps members create a functioning destination location by way of sharing information about the modern day tourist, their needs, wants and expectations. They can offer a gold mine of information and support to their members.”Industry professionals have now deemed that we are in an ‘experience based economy’ with a traveler’s focus on cushy adventure, wine oriented culinary tourism and nature based tourist activities. The Texas Hill Country offers all of that and more.Recently, Innkeeping has been referred to by TIME magazine as America’s ‘most envied profession.’ Texas Bed & Breakfast Association offers educational seminars and conferences each year that include an ‘Aspiring Innkeepers Workshop Orientation’ that provides an educational overview to learn more about the industry, the lifestyle, how to get started and how to operate a B&B effectively. The TBBA is committed to the pursuit of excellence and provides helpful on-site property inspections, as well as quality continuing education to its members and other innkeepers to enhance the level of professionalism in the industry.For more information on becoming a member of the TBBA or the TH&L, contact www.texasbb.org 1-800-428-0368 or www.texaslodging.com 1-800-856-4328 .