Powering the Economy, Connecting America: In Celebration of U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week

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<span>Powering the Economy, Connecting America: In Celebration of U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week</span>
Bottom Line:

This year’s U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week focuses on the sector’s pivotal role in helping to power the U.S. economy. From economic impact to the cultivation of vibrant communities to the ability to connect America, this annual tradition celebrates tourism’s role in helping to foster the economic prosperity of the United States.

This year, U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week in the United States occurs between May 19-25, 2024, celebrating the industry's contributions to the US economy. Established in 1983, this annual tradition highlights the travel sector’s impact on local communities and its role in helping to stimulate economic growth and uplift its residents. The travel sector helps to foster economic impact, create vibrant communities, quality jobs, new businesses, and enhance the quality of life for all Americans. Further, the travel industry creates new opportunities for residents, fosters a sense of community, and helps uplift the economy by connecting all Americans.

During the week of celebration, destination organizations demonstrate the importance of the tourism industry to every corner of the country. Recent research shows that travel is a $2.6 trillion-dollar industry that supports 15 million people with employment opportunities. Travel’s indirect impact is seen in how other industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture, depend on it to generate business and stimulate growth, creating opportunities that highlight the industry's importance. U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week helps organizations highlight an undeniable truth: Travel is essential to America’s success in stimulating the economy that unites its people, helps uplift small businesses, and is a central theme to the United States’ global competitiveness. As industry leaders, it is crucial to communicate the sector's value among policymakers, business leaders, and community leaders to help stimulate the US economy. 

Credit: U.S. Travel Association 

Travel: Powering the Economy & Connecting America

For destination organizations looking to get involved in celebrating the week, they can amplify the message that travel not only powers the economy but also enhances the likelihood of a brighter future. From newsletters, social media posts, and LinkedIn posts--there are several ways to amplify travel's critical role in helping power the US economy. Social channels are a valuable tool in helping to celebrate NTTW week, with several key graphics provided by the US Travel Association. Engaging on social media platforms such as Facebook, X(Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn using #NTTW24 is encouraged, as is tagging @U.S.Travel in your destination’s celebrations. In posting on social media platforms, destinations are encouraged to use the NTTW logo in all forms of communication. Further, organizations are encouraged to use the provided graphics in their social media posts and formal means of communication with stakeholders. The graphics are meant to highlight travel’s pivotal role in powering the economy, bridging the gap between cultures, helping to uplift other industries, and celebrating what travel means to communities worldwide. Moreover, branding guidelines help identify the week’s activities across all platforms. 

Credit: U.S. Travel Association

Several key initiatives can help destinations advocate for the power of travel during U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week in an impactful way while boosting its importance to the U.S. economy. Through social media channels, destinations can release a proclamation highlighting the undeniable truth that travel is essential to every state and destination across the country. From powering the economy, helping to rebuild the workforce, and being a key driver of development, travel is critical to the success of communities nationwide. Destinations can highlight how travel tax revenues help fund key priority areas in education, public safety, emergency response, and road repair. Amplifying the industry’s importance during the week allows destination organizations to have a voice in acquiring talent, rebuilding the workforce, and investing in the continued economic development of a destination. 

During the week of celebration, organizations can position themselves as stewards and managers of their brand in helping tell the story of how investment makes the destination a more attractive place to live, work, and play. A destination can expand on its value proposition for the community by sharing travel benefits with visitors and residents. As a result of improving residents' quality of life, investment and employment opportunities will increase, and the sector will also become more competitive, helping drive the US economy. The benefits of tourism continue to expand beyond economic metrics in producing indirect impacts on the supply chain and interlinkages to other sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and construction. 

Celebrating Your Community  

To kick off the festivities, destinations can partner with other tourism organizations in their community to create presentations, provide tours of convention centers, and partner with local businesses to share stories of economic impact. Through social media, destinations can promote local businesses, encourage visitors and residents to shop locally, share stories in a newsletter or blog, and highlight diverse community voices. Throughout the week, destinations can utilize photography to highlight progress made in the past decade, highlighting the growth of the tourism industry and plans for future development. Destinations have a crucial role in highlighting industry workers with blog posts, newsletters, and op-eds, thanking them for their support of the industry and the empowerment of local businesses in the community. 

Recent research by the U.S. Travel Association states that a labor shortage still exists within the hospitality sector, with one in every ten hospitality jobs remaining open in the near future. Thus, destinations have an opportunity to utilize the week to address perceptions of employment within the industry and diversify the talent pool, making it the central theme for addressing workforce challenges. Key messaging points, including the chance for upward mobility, a recent wage increase, a diverse work environment and experiences, flexible scheduling, and the benefit of interacting with diverse cultures other than our own, can be a central theme of a destination’s social media post during U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week. We encourage you to check out the NTTW Toolkit, which includes social media graphics, logos, messaging guides, brand guidelines, and sample proclamations.  

Credit: U.S. Travel Association 

It is critical to amplify the messaging of the sector’s role in helping to cultivate vibrant communities, stimulating economic growth, helping to uplift small businesses, and helping to power the US economy. Travel powers the US economy to connect America and impacts other industries, including agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. To celebrate U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week across social media platforms, key messages of economic growth, rebuilding the workforce, and highlighting small businesses are messages of critical importance. Destinations can continue to advocate for the power of travel in talking to policymakers, businesses, and community leaders to help amplify the message of the sector’s role in helping to power a prosperous future. 

Destinations International Social Media Toolkit

At Destinations International, we recognize the importance of travel in driving economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, and elevating the quality of life of Americans nationwide. To celebrate U.S. National Travel and Tourism Week, we have put together a social media toolkit of our own (to use in conjunction with the toolkit provided by the U.S. Travel Association). Customize our social media graphics with your destination name, details of your destination’s economic growth from tourism, and the number of employees in the hospitality industry that make up your destination’s workforce. Be sure to tag us when you post this toolkit to Instagram – we cannot wait to see you share about the importance of our industry! 

Need some inspiration while you work? We put together a Spotify playlist to listen to all week long! The playlist celebrates the diverse destinations that make up our country by featuring one song from each of the 50 states. 

About The Author

Stephanie Auslander

Advocacy and Data Coordinator
Destinations International

Stephanie is a recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Master’s Degree in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development. Previously, she worked as an Intern with Solimar International assisting Destination Marketing Organizations in formulating Tourism Development strategies for the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Republic Of Georgia and the Sisian region of Armenia. Additionally, she is the author of a Tourism Research Proposal detailing ways in which Destinations can promote the concept of Sustainability to its consumers for a lasting positive impact. With a background in Tourism Development she is confident in her ability to help Destinations innovate into the future.

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