This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
Print Page | Sign In | Register
Press Releases and TTIA Member News: Alliance News

Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez Named 2018 Recipient of the Gene Phillips Hospitality Award

Monday, April 9, 2018  
Share |


March 29, 2018

AUSTIN – Distinguished tourism industry veteran Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez, Director of the San Marcos Convention & Visitor Bureau, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Gene Phillips Hospitality Award. This award will be presented by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) at ceremonies held during the annual Texas Travel Counselors Conference in El Paso next month. The award recognizes Ybarra-Ramirez’s distinguished career and her longstanding efforts on behalf of TxDOT’s Travel Information Centers and the state’s $69.1 billion travel industry.

“Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez has been a great friend and supporter of TxDOT and our Travel Information Centers,” said Joan Henderson, Director of the Travel Information Division at TxDOT. “Her dedication, warmth and hospitality, and her years of leadership in the Texas travel industry make this a very well-deserved award.”

Ybarra-Ramirez has been a fixture at the San Marcos Convention & Visitor Bureau since starting her career there as a student worker in 1992. She rose rapidly through the ranks and has led the organization as its Director since 1998, and boosts awareness of tourism, public safety, and other issues in her community. She also holds leadership positions with the Board of Directors of the Texas Travel Industry Association and the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus. She is a key advocate for the industry, working closely with stakeholders and decision makers to boost awareness of the importance of travel to the Texas economy.

This award also recognizes Ybarra-Ramirez’s long-standing support of TxDOT’s Travel Information Centers. She keeps in close touch with TxDOT travel counselors, making sure they have the latest information on tourism opportunities in San Marcos for their visitors. Under her direction, San Marcos has served as the host city for the Texas Travel Counselors Conference and for the TTIA Study Tour.

The Gene Phillips Hospitality Award is named in honor of the late Gene Phillips, who managed Aquarena Springs in San Marcos and was an influential, driving force in the emerging tourism industry during the 1970s. Each year the award is presented by TxDOT Travel Information Division staff and recognizes one person for his or her outstanding lifetime accomplishments within the Texas travel and tourism industry.

Additional awards to be presented at the Texas Travel Counselors Conference will be announced following the presentations.

For more information, contact TxDOT Media Relations at or (512) 463-8700.