City leaders responsible for bringing big events to Tulsa anticipate 2022 to be the best year for tourism since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tulsa Regional Tourism office is expecting $240 million in economic revenue, highlighted by a big start to the summer.
Ray Hoyt, the President of Tulsa Regional Tourism, reports the city has lost millions of visitors since 2019 because of the pandemic. A big calendar year is a reason for optimism in 2022.
In February, the USA BMX headquarters will open in Tulsa. In March, the Big 12 wrestling championship will be in town.
The month of May is circled on the calendar. Hoyt says this will be the biggest May ever, bringing in $100 million alone in economic revenue.
The State FFA Convention is moving to the BOK Center from Oklahoma City to start the month. Mayfest and the opening of Bob Dylan Center are also happening during May.
The PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills, and Hoyt says it could be in the ballpark of $70 million towards Tulsa’s economy. Ironman also returns to Tulsa and other parts of Green Country.
Hoyt says 80,000 hotel rooms are expected to be booked just in the month of May alone. For his office, it is the chance to get Tulsa in the national spotlight, attracting visitors from all over.
He encourages people living in Tulsa to welcome these visitors.
“It’s always nice when a local can help a visitor, it just resonates with the visitors that a local is encouraging them, glad to see them, thanking them for being here,” said Hoyt. “Help them find our local cool restaurants and our culture.”
Other attractions, including the Greenwood Rising museum and Gathering Place, are also expected to be popular destinations for tourists in 2022.