Tourism's Impact on the Greater Raleigh Area Highlighted during National Tourism Week, May 11-18, 2009

Raleigh, N.C. (May 12, 2009) - The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau
joins hundreds of cities, states and travel-related businesses nationwide in recognition of
the 26th Annual National Tourism Week, being held May 11-18. In conjunction with
National Tourism Week, North Carolina is celebrating with National Travel and
Tourism Day, May 12 in downtown Raleigh.

This year's theme, "Why Travel Matters" shows how the travel and tourism industry
plays a key role in our area's economy. With business, meetings and event travel facing
steep declines across America, nationwide events throughout National Travel and
Tourism Week will emphasize the economic benefits travel and tourism brings to local
workers and communities and demonstrate the importance of travel. This event is part of
a larger effort led by the U.S. Travel Association with rallies in dozens of cities

North Carolina's National Tourism Day Celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. in downtown
Raleigh's Legislative Building with exhibits and demonstrations from attractions and
destinations from across the state. Lawmakers and state leaders will have the chance to
meet with tourism industry leaders throughout the day.

"Hotels and meeting facilities, attractions, restaurants and transportation providers are
among the local businesses greatly impacted by travel to the Raleigh area," said Denny
Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. "In
Wake County the industry employs more than 18,000 people, generated $1.5 billion in
direct visitor spending and an estimated $110 million in state and local tax revenue in

Travel and tourism is one of America's largest industries, with $740 billion in direct
travel expenditures by domestic and international travelers. The industry also represents
one of America's largest employers with 7.7 million direct travel-generated jobs and
$189 billion in travel-generated payroll. However, according to U.S. Labor Department
data, the U.S. Travel Association reported a loss of nearly 200,000 travel related jobs in
2008 and predicts a loss of an additional 247,000 travel-generated jobs in 2009.