AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today helped kick off the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, which will take place November 16-18 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Formula 1 has selected Austin to hold races from 2012 to 2021, and the circuit will also host the V8 Supercars Championship from 2013-2018.
“The U.S. Grand Prix will bring 1.2 million visitors to Central Texas, and is an opportunity to demonstrate to people from around the world everything we have to offer in the Lone Star State as a tourism destination, and as a place to live and work,” Gov. Perry said. “This event is adding to our state’s profile worldwide, and represents a valuable opportunity to tell the Texas story to a whole new group of race fans and decision makers from all around the world.”
As an international tourism destination and national leader in economic development, job creation and foreign direct investment, Texas is a natural fit for the expansion of F1 in the U.S. With each F1 season averaging 520 million viewers in 187 countries, and each race broadcast to more than 30 million viewers worldwide, all eyes will be on the Lone Star State and the one-of-a-kind Circuit of the Americas for the inaugural race.
Designed for business, education, entertainment and races, the Circuit of the Americas is the first purpose-built F1 Grand Prix facility in the U.S. Once fully operational, U.S. Grand Prix events are expected to attract 1.2 million visitors annually, with an expected $400-500 million in total spending in 2012.
While on an economic development trip to Italy in September, Gov. Perry attended the 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix at the Monza Circuit, and highlighted the United States Grand Prix and the unique layout of the Circuit of the Americas Track. The governor also met with Bobby Epstein, chairman and founder of the Circuit of the Americas, and Stefano Domenicali, head of Ferrari Racing.
Tourism is an important part of the Lone Star State’s economic strength. Texas destinations saw more than 208 million domestic visitors and an estimated $63.2 billion in total travel spending in 2011. Roughly 7.5 million international travelers visited Texas in 2011 spending $4.8 billion. International visitation to Texas from overseas markets saw a 25 percent increase during that period.
To view the governor’s remarks, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/17826/ 
For more information about the Circuit of the Americas, please visit http://circuitoftheamericas.com/ .
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