The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week. It was established when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May.
Since its establishment, the U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies.
As it has done for the last few years, the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) will be traveling to welcome centers across the state of South Carolina, where staff will set up a booth and provide information on what makes Spartanburg a great place for visitors, meetings & conventions and sporting events.
The SCVB will be at the Landrum Welcome Center on Wednesday, May 9th, at the Blacksburg Welcome Center on May 10th, and at the Fair Play Welcome Center on May 11th. SCVB staff plans to use a Spartanburg-made BMW vehicle to promote the BMW Pro-Am, Zentrum Museum and Performance Driving School.
“Tourism is an industry on the rise here in Spartanburg County,” said Chris Jennings, executive director of the SCVB.
“Direct travel expenditures totaled more than $174 million in fiscal year 2008, with the lion’s share of that (21%) coming from the lodging industry.” Jennings said more than 3700 jobs are supported, and $10 million in tax revenue is produced from tourism spending each year.
Jennings also cited steady increases in tourism indicators such as room demand, and accommodation and hospitality tax revenue over the past several months.
“We have ramped up our marketing of Spartanburg to target markets, thanks to the support of County Council, several municipalities, and our tourism industry” he stated. “That has produced increased spending and longer stays throughout the county.”
Nationally, travel and tourism generated $1.9 trillion in economic output in 2011. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers, supporting 14.4 million jobs. Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.2 billion a day, $92.8 million an hour, $1.5 million a minute and $25,700 a second.
National Tourism Week is sponsored annually by the U.S. Travel Association, a trade association that represents the common interests and concerns of travel in the United States.