Emporia Is the Power of Travel
Posted on May 1, 2021 by LeLan Dains, Director
This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and its dynamic workforce. The 38th annual NTTW, taking place May 2-8, recognizes the Power of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America.
Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. The industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.
Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hard working Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment.
Here in Emporia, we saw a near 35% decline in hotel stays from 2019 to 2020. Transient guest tax dropped as a result, creating a loss of some funding for many agencies and organizations.
However, Emporia—and the travel industry—are resilient.
While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, our industry united like never before, lifted each other up, aided one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of supporting and restoring all sectors of travel. This year’s NTTW is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in our industry’s story and celebrate its collective power by spotlighting the innumerable ways travel will drive recovery, bring Americans together again and help define our country’s path forward.
For NTTW, Visit Emporia has curated 7 itineraries from staff and community leaders that highlight a “perfect day” in Emporia. In addition, be on the lookout for short videos from local business and community leaders that show how the #poweroftravel has made an impact on their business and in our community. We invite you to share with us how #thepoweroftravel has made an impact in your life. We will also be releasing a video via Facebook, a special Cinco de Mayo “how to” that can’t be missed!
From our unique sporting events and outdoor activities to our amazing food culture, Emporia’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Visit Emporia, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of our community—this NTTW.
LeLan Dains, Director
Director, Visit Emporia