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      Nature tourism bringing $300 million to Rio Grande Valley

      A recent study by Texas A&M University has found that nature tourism brings a lot of dough to the Rio Grande Valley.

      The survey found that nature tourism brings in a whopping $300 million dollars to the Valley.

      Quinta Mazatlan opens its gates to nature.

      Everywhere you go, you can hear the birds chirping and see little critters crawling.

      This nature scene is what attracts around 2.3 million people a year to the Rio Grande Valley area.

      A recent survey estimates each year nature tourism brings in over $300 million dollars to the Valley.

      This is the money these tourists spend at Valley shops, hotels and restaurants.

      It TMs exciting. It TMs an industry that continues to grow, and we are going to take advantage of that, said Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber or Commerce president and CEO.

      He said the Valley has made investments over the last 10 years to facilitate and attract nature tourism.

      We have over 250 of the 500 migratory birds that are in North America come through this area, so we are in the ideal location to take advantage of those tourist dollars that come here, said Ahlenius.

      In addition to those 250 migratory birds from North America, Quinta Mazatlan's manager Colleen Hook said there are over 39 species of birds from South of the border that migrate to the Valley.

      A second survey will be conducted during the next few months and officials expect the economic impact figure to increase.