No matter where you live, we all pass popular tourist sites every day. For New Yorkers its Central Park, the Colosseum for Rome, or the Taj Mahal in India. We may not even think of how these sites support our community. But these local attractions and others like Jaffa Port in Isreal, Ganges River in India, or Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona are the backbones of these nations. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us—and the thousands to millions of annual visitors—a lifetime of memories.
Travel matters, and it improves locales in ways that have a great impact on the local residents. Travel and Tourism were responsible for the creation of 1 in 5 jobs globally but it also has benefits that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another.
Travel Matters to America at the national level, travel is critical to the U.S. economy and American jobs. As a leader in workforce development and career advancement–travel creates and supports 15.7 million jobs across the U.S.– making it the seventh-largest private sector employer. In 2018, traveler spending generated $171 billion in total tax revenue, including $78.6 billion in state and local revenue. That $78.6 billion can pay for a host of critical resources: it’s more than enough to pay all state and local police and firefighters, or the more than one million public high school teachers.
Travel is powerful for cities and states, and no destination is an exception.
Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked at a local restaurant, ski resort, market, hotel or maybe your kids work there now. For one-third of Americans, travel is the front door to a promising career. Americans whose first job in travel have an average career salary of $81,900, and two in five of those whose first job was in travel are now earning more than $100,000.
Think about how travel matters to your favorite local, a well-loved small business in your hometown: travel-dependent leisure and hospitality is the largest small business employer in the U.S.
Those are only a few reasons why it’s so important to keep welcoming visitors to your home as well as other communities around the world—and why our industry has elevated the message of “Travel Matters” during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW). Thank you for joining us the first week of May to celebrate all that travel does for our world as a whole.