National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) is coming up May 19-25, but convention and visitors bureaus are already celebrating. Representatives from their respective organizations say the industry’s influence and impact remains strong.

“The travel industry fuels every industry—our industry’s success is the nation’s success,” says U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman, highlighting that now “is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward.”

Tillie Youngs, sales manager with 1000 Islands International Tourism Council in Alexandria Bay, New York, also gives a nod to the travel and tourism sector, noting its role in the local economy.

“Travel & Tourism Week is an opportunity for our industry to step up and remind our partners, community leaders, and residents about its worth,” she tells Group Tour. “The local economy grows with every job filled, every hotel room booked, and every attraction ticket sold. The timing at the beginning of our busy season is perfect, as our tourism partners are gearing up for summer and the conversations about tourism’s value provides excitement.”

Scott Dahl, director of the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau in Springfield, Illinois, echoed similar sentiments, saying the travel industry continues to be a big economy booster in his county.

“The numbers speak for themselves. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 4,700 right here in Sangamon County,” he says. “This week, we are celebrating travel’s $536.8 million impact on our community and hoping to communicate on the overall value and contribution tourism makes to our quality of life in Springfield.”

Visit Springfield has several events planned. Among them: broadcast interviews, special guest speakers, and local festivities. It also will highlight Route 66 and the Route History Metaverse, which allows travelers to immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind experience to learn about Black history, people, events, and businesses along Route 66 during the Civil Rights era.

It also will feature the new Horseshoe Trail culinary adventure during NTTW week in anticipation of the summer season. Information shows that culinary tourism—which allows travelers to experience a destination’s culture through the sensory, artistic medium of food—can be a significant driving factor on where people choose to travel. 

Overall, according to Visit Springfield, travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries, fueling communities, small businesses, and working families across the country.

“We’re calling on everyone—from elected officials to all of our local friends and neighbors—to join us in saluting this important industry,” Dahl says, “and to support pro-travel and tourism efforts and legislation at the local, state, and national level.” 

By Andrew Weeks

Main Image: A traveler at the airport; Credit: Adobe/JenkoAtaman