We are joining with the U.S. Travel Association this week to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW). You have heard us say this before, but Tourism Matters. And here's why...

Why travel matters in Raleigh, N.C.
We pass popular tourist sites like Marbles Kids Museum every day; we may not even think of how it supports our community at large. But Marbles and others like the Carolina Hurricanes, North Carolina Museum of Art, Brewery Bhavana and so many more are the backbone of the Raleigh area. These places define the quality of our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us—and 16.45 million visitors in 2017—a lifetime of memories.

Travel matters, and it improves Wake County in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on our home community. Travel supports over 26,000 hospitality-sector jobs countywide and also has an impact that we do not always measure: travel can strengthen families, foster more 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 revenues. 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.

Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked at one of the area's classic restaurants or maybe your kids work there now. For many—one-third of Americans to be exact—travel and hospitality is the front door to a promising career. Americans whose first job was 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 yearly.

Think about how travel and visitor spending matters to some of our favorite locally-owned shops, such as Videri Chocolate Factory, DECO Raleigh and House of Swank: travel-dependent leisure/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 Raleigh, N.C.—and why our industry is elevating the message of “Travel Matters” during NTTW, May 5-11. We encourage you to join us in observing NTTW this year and celebrate all that travel does for Raleigh/Wake County, and for our country as a whole.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Contact our members of Congress and tell them why travel is important to Raleigh and Wake County.
  • Get social and engage with the #nttw19 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Share how travel matters to your hospitality business or in your community.

For more great ideas and resources, check out this toolkit from the U.S. Travel Association. 

This year’s NTTW is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a primary driver in the U.S. economy, and as an important part of our daily lives and quality of place in the Raleigh area.