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Dallas and Forth Worth turn on music and whiskey

May 12, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Texas came to town bigtime on Wednesday night in Sydney, with a tourism delegation from Dallas and Fort Worth, a sampling of excellent TX whiskey (made in Fort Worth’s premiere artisanal whiskey distillery) and music by Texan singer-songwriter Austin Allsup.

The venue was Tatler in Kings Cross.

Phillip Jones, president and chief executive of VisitDallas (which changed its name last year from the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau) gave a glowing review of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which he said offered Australian visitors quick connections, efficiency and above all, a friendly greeting. “No offence to our friends in Los Angeles…”

Geoffrey Hutton and Robert Jameson

Once through the airport, the fast train to downtown Dallas costs only USD 2.50 and the trip takes 30 minutes.

A little known fact about Dallas is that it has the largest urban arts precinct in the US. In terms of fashion, Jones said, New York City is number one in the US, and Dallas is number 2.

Jones spoke of the new George W. Bush Museum and a tax-free scheme which lets tourists reclaim all the tax on their shopping at DFW Airport with no hassle. The city has 35 hotels under construction, with 6000 rooms in total. Dallas already offers more than 30,000 hotel rooms; with over 78,000 available throughout the area.

Matt Wooler of Whisky Tasting Experiences demonstrates TX Texan whiskey

Dallas is a multicultural and diverse city. Some 40% of its population is Latino and 20% is African American. It also hosts the fifth-largest gay and lesbian community in the US.

Serving both Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is connected nonstop to 200 destinations worldwide. It’s the world’s third busiest airport, handling 65.6 million passengers in 2016. The airport is so centrally located that any major city in the US can be reached by air in about three and a half hours or less, Jones said. It offers 149 direct US domestic connections and it’s currently investing USD 2.3 billion in upgrades and renovation.

A feast of TX whiskey

Travel industry guests at Wednesday’s function had a chance to sample TX whiskey, established in 2010 by Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson. The whiskey won both “Double Gold” and “Best American Craft Whiskey” honours at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It should be available in Australia next year. Until then, you’ll have to fly to Texas for it – it’s worth it.

Austin Allsup

President and chief executive of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Robert Jameson, said Fort Worth’s number one attraction was Panther Island, a thriving entertainment, activities and outdoor recreation precinct located north of downtown. Another big draw is the Fort Worth Ale Trail, a craft beer experience involving nine breweries in and around Fort Worth.

Austin Allsup entertains

Adding music to Wednesday night’s message was Austin Allsup, one of the best-known entertainers in Texas. When he was 19 Austin toured with his Grammy Award-winning guitarist father Tommy Allsup and the band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. In 2005, Austin put out his first record and went on a national US tour. He now plays about 150 shows a year. He met his wife at one of his shows and they now have two children.

Written by Peter Needham

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