National Travel & Tourism Week is May 6—12, 2018
Defining the value of tourism and its importance to the economic development efforts undertaken on behalf of your destination is an initiative that DMOs should engage in and advocate for on a continual basis. With National Travel and Tourism Week rapidly approaching, we thought we would take a moment to lift up some of the facts related to just how valuable this industry is to local economies and provide some perspective you could share with your elected officials, stakeholders and possibly the residents that make up your community.
Travel and Tourism’s Economic Impact
Below are a few key data points from the U.S. Travel Association’s most recent U.S. TRAVEL AND TOURISM OVERVIEW:
- U.S. domestic travel increased overall 1.9% percent in 2017 to a total of more than 2.25 billion person-trips
- Leisure travel increased 2.0% and accounted for 79.4% of these person-trips
- Business travel increased 1.7% and accounted for 20.6% of these person-trips
- Related to business travel expenditures, 41.6% was attributable to meeting and convention related travel
- In 2017, travel directly supported almost 8.8 million jobs and generated $259 billion in payroll income and $165 billion in tax revenues for federal, state and local governments
- In 2017, travelers’ spending on lodging reached $220.4 billion which accounted for 21.3% of total travel spending in the United States
Your Local Impact
While your local numbers only count for a fraction of the national numbers, awareness of tourism and travel’s economic impact in most destinations is often misunderstood and under-appreciated.
According to this same report, the power of travel to create jobs is much greater than that of other industries. It is estimated that every $1 million in sales of travel goods and services directly generates 8 jobs for the industry.
If you don’t already have firm economic impact numbers for your destination, I encourage you to take the time now to estimate them. Click here for guidelines on how to generate data for your own destination.
Promoting Your Economic Impact
Now that you’re armed with national and your estimated local impact numbers, it’s time to strategize how to promote them during National Travel and Tourism Week, May 6—12, 2018. Below are some ideas on ways to bring the celebration and awareness to your area:
Start by downloading the US Travel Association Travel and Tourism Week logo and adding it to all of your visuals.
Leverage your local media to help spread the word. Pitching story ideas with your destination’s economic impact numbers and including your celebration plans can go a long way. If you need some talking points, the USTA website has some great examples.
Schedule various activities throughout the week to reach visitors as they are present in your area. Can you give a coupon code to some of the area attractions to be used exclusively during the week? Consider giving out tastings of local food (whether from restaurants, or a product that’s locally made and sold in your area), or having talent from some of your big attractions present to greet visitors each day.
Thank You Card:
Create a thank you card to give to visitors at your welcome centers, convention centers, attractions and hotels during the week. You could also create a temporary thank you message on your website homepage. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve created a template for you to use. Just add your own numbers and logo and you’re set!
We want to thank you during the 2018 National Tourism and Travel Week.
- Because of you, we get to share the unique offerings of our city/town.
- Because of you, we have jobs we love.
So, thank you! Visit us again soon, and safe travels!
(local tourism office official name)
The opportunities here are endless. You could use the 2018 theme of “Travel Then and Now” and schedule posts with vintage photos of what travel looked like back in the day followed by more contemporary photos depicting the same attractions or events today. Are there new attractions or accommodations worth highlighting? How about giving accolades to some of the tried and true foundational venues in your area? Create graphics that show each of the national and local economic impact numbers. No matter what you do on your social media platforms, make sure to use the USTA hashtag: #nttw18. Not only will your content extend its reach, but it may even be included in USTA’s recap video the following week!
Get to it!
Remember, this year’s dates are May 6—12. The tourism industry positively impacts everyone! So gather your stats, notify your local stakeholders and start sharing everything your destination has to offer. And while you’re at it, add a reminder to your calendar for next January to have more time to plan an even bigger Travel and Tourism Week celebration for your destination.