Free walking tours, ticket giveaways, and new branding reveal included in plans

McKinney residents will have the opportunity to learn more about their own city May 2-8 when Visit McKinney hosts its annual observance of National Travel & Tourism Week. And to top off the week, McKinney's tourism office will also be soft-launching its new visual identity.

“National Travel & Tourism Week is always an exciting time for those of us in the tourism industry as it's a time when our efforts become hyper-local as we work to increase our residents’ knowledge of all our city has to offer,” said Dee-dee Guerra, Executive Director of Visit McKinney. “We want to help our locals become better-educated ambassadors for our city so they’ll be able to share the complete McKinney experience with visiting family and friends.”

Focusing on educating locals took on a special meaning for the organization last year during National Travel and Tourism Week. Because of the worldwide lock-downs and everyone being confined to their homes, Visit McKinney devoted space on its website, on social media, and in the Weekend Update emails each week to promote virtual and outdoor activities to locals while also promoting the local restaurants and stores that were accommodating COVID restrictions by providing take-out, delivery, and curbside pick-up.

“We promoted virtual tours here and around the world to allow our community members to have the opportunity to see new places from the comfort of home,” Guerra said. “It was rewarding for us to hear back from both our locals and from people elsewhere in the country who told us they were enjoying the information we were providing.”

Among the activities planned for National Travel & Tourism Week in McKinney this year are:

Free Historic Walking Tours with Guy Giersch: Leaving each day of that week (May 3-7) at 2:30 p.m. from the Visitors Center at 200 W. Virginia. We're asking guests to register on Eventbrite, but it is not required. Here are links to each day's free walking tour tickets:

Ticket Giveaways: We'll be giving away tickets on our Facebook and Instagram accounts to the AT&T Byron Nelson on Saturday, May 15, and to next week's Run for the Rose' 5K on Saturday, May 8. And there maybe more. Watch for details on social media, coming Wednesday, April 28.

Launch of a New Visual Identity for Visit McKinney: “We’re excited to be developing a new website that will launch in mid-June, and in advance of that, we’re doing an introduction to our new branding,” Guerra said. “We’ve been working with design company Simpleview to create both our new website and the new visual identity and are so pleased with the work they’ve done. They are experts in destination marketing, so we’re in good hands!”

Locals will be seeing the new branding on Visit McKinney swag, social media accounts, videos on the monitor in the front window of the Visitors Center, and in the organization’s weekly newsletter.

Public Safety Appreciation Day: Each year, Visit McKinney hosts its special Public Safety Appreciation Day on the Tuesday of National Travel & Tourism Week. During what has become a favorite event of the staff for the past 10 years, Visit McKinney will once again pay tribute to the city’s fire, police, and other first responders and emergency personnel by providing lunch for them at the Public Safety Building.

“McKinney’s first responders keep our residents and visitors safe every day, and we love the opportunity to show them our appreciation by taking lunch to them!” Guerra said.

Proclamation from the Mayor: Also on Tuesday, May 4, Mayor George Fuller will present a proclamation to the Visit McKinney staff during the City Council regular session meeting, declaring May 2-8 to be National Travel & Tourism Week in McKinney.

Throughout the week, the MCVB will be sharing information about things to do in McKinney as well as facts about the economic impact tourism makes in both McKinney and in the Lone Star State via the MCVB’s website ( and social media accounts.

“When you realize that one in 10 jobs in our country is related to tourism, you can better imagine just how many people in our city and state are dealing with visitors, directly and indirectly, every day,” Guerra said. “The tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID pandemic, but we’re very encouraged and happy to see travel bouncing back for leisure travel in Texas and we’re seeing some bookings for future business travel here, too.”

More information about Visit McKinney can be found on our website,, throughout the week, or by calling 214-544-1407. Their offices are located in the Visitors Center at 200 W. Virginia in downtown McKinney.

To keep up with activities coming up in McKinney, residents are encouraged to sign up for the Visit McKinney Weekend Update newsletter at