Travel Forward at This Year’s National Travel and Tourism Week

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<span>Travel Forward at This Year’s National Travel and Tourism Week</span>
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National Travel and Tourism week will celebrate its 40th anniversary in Washington DC this May focusing on travel’s essential role in helping to facilitate economic growth, creating vibrant communities, and helping to elevate the quality of life for all Americans.

This year’s theme Travel Forward is a concept in which the industry moves forward by spotlighting travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating diverse communities, and inspiring new leaders in the community through the connection of travel. As travel helps fuel every type of industry in every community across the United States, our industries victories are felt throughout the country. By moving travel forward, it presents an opportunity to advocate for the industry’s critical importance to business leaders, community stakeholders, and residents who call the destination home.

Throughout the week, destinations can participate in various events that highlight the travel industry’s critical role in elevating the quality of place including May 9th, which marks 40 years since the tradition began. Destinations can show their support for the industry by sharing a special edition anniversary graphic that pays tribute to the travel industry's role in facilitating economic growth. Destination organizations can contribute to the week’s events to include amplifying the travel industry’s importance by posting on social media channels, sharing relevant graphics, hosting travel rallies, throwing an appreciation event for the workforce, and celebrating the local community. Additional ways to engage include putting a spotlight on a new project or business in your destination, featuring 40 small to medium biopic businesses, highlighting recent wins, urging staff to get involved, sharing information on community groups, and offering a special discount for visitors to raise awareness. 

The travel industry fuels every industry - and our success is America's success.

The Travel Industry Fuels Every Industry and Community 

This year’s Travel Forward theme celebrates the industries’ critical role in helping to power economies, communities, and connections. As travel fuels every other industry, the industry’s success is the whole country’s success story. From education to new business growth, to technology and manufacturing, advocating for the power of travel helps propel other industries forward. Destinations can partner with policymakers to advocate for the sector’s importance and partner with key stakeholders to educate on the power of tourism and move the community forward. In helping to advance these other industries, travel moving forward has positive ripple effects over to other sectors in the economy.  

While progress has been made since the onset of the pandemic, there is still room to grow in bringing it back to normal visitation. Destinations can work together with policymakers to advocate for the sector’s importance and partner with key stakeholders to conduct monthly meetings, collaborate in destination master plans, and be proactive about any future challenges. It is vital to amplify the message that travel is an economic powerhouse for countless destinations across the country and is the key to remaining competitive on a global scale. The recovery of the travel industry translates to the recovery of all sectors across America and on a global scale.  

Travel’s Economic Impact 

During National Travel and Tourism Week destinations can participate by telling the story of travel’s economic impact on their destination. Across the United States, it is estimated by the US Travel Association that the industry generates 2.6 trillion of both direct and induced economic impact serving as a catalyst for fueling innovation across other industries. As part of the economic impact, the industry can move travel forward by supporting local businesses, creating new opportunities for organizations, and elevating the quality of life for residents of the community. Further, it is estimated that eight million people are directly employed by the travel industry, with total impacts estimated at fifteen million people engaged in the workforce. Collaborating with stakeholders moves travel forward in a way that drives the industry towards a sustainable future. As recovery continues, strategically thinking ahead could power the untapped potential of the travel and tourism industry. 

NTTW 2023: Travel Forward

Destinations can engage further by amplifying the message of travel forward through an press release advocating for the power of tourism. Tourism helps strengthen the destination’s economy, creates a culturally vibrant community, and celebrates the communities’ successes now and in the future. Participating organizations can download the official logo and share them directly across all social media platforms. Additionally, there is a engagement form destinations can fill out and add links to hosted events, social media channels, blogs written, local media outreaches, illuminating building displays, and website features that advocate for the power of travel. For this occasion, the US Travel Association has created a list of hashtags and graphics that can be displayed on social media platforms. These displays are of critical importance to advocate for the industries’ power to be the economic driver of a community and celebrate the value that the industry holds for businesses, the community, and personal well-being.  

The sector can help travel to move forward in several ways that leave a lasting impact on the community. Investments in the workforce, expanded roles in destinations, having a seat at the table, and investment within the destination make it a more attractive place to visit, work, and live bolstering the quality of place. From a branding perspective, destinations can position themselves to be stewards and managers of the destinations brand not only for the industry but for key stakeholders including both visitors and talent acquisition. Thus, by continuing to advocate for the power of travel, a destination organization can expand its value position for the community it serves elevating the quality of life for its residents.  

In summary, this year marks the 40th anniversary of a tradition started in 1983 that advocates for the power of our industry and ways it contributes to economic viability. This year’s theme Moving travel forward helps uplift the local community and has ripple effects across other sectors of the economy. Whether the message is amplified through local community events, social media, or through press releases this is our chance to highlight the velocity of our industry in full force helping to spread a message of economic prosperity, cultural vibrancy, and an elevated quality of life for all residents.

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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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