Industry leaders to come together in May to recognize how far the travel industry has come.

National Travel and Tourism Week—taking place May 6 – 12, 2018—celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel community. The annual tradition brings industry professionals together to highlight the value of travel and consider the broad impact it holds for communities across the country. 

In 2018, 35 years after National Travel and Tourism Week was established by a congressional resolution, the industry will celebrate with a new theme: “Travel Then and Now.” The theme is a challenge to industry leaders to reflect on travel successes of years past while advocating for policies that promote growth for the future. 

Here are a few tips for engaging the “Then and Now” theme. 

Share your “Then and Now” photos

Use photos to showcase how travel and tourism has changed in your community. Think of recognizable locations, historical landmarks and notable destinations. Share your photos on social media using the hashtags #nttw18 and #TravelNow and encourage your community to engage by sharing their stories of travel then and now. 

Illustrate the economic impact of travel 

Has travel to your destination grown in the last 10 years? Or even this year alone? Share what that growth has meant for your local economy. Has this translated into job growth, for example? Use U.S. Travel’s interactive research tools, including the Economic Impact Map, Interactive Travel Analytics, and Travel Economic Impact Calculator, to create stronger messaging by exploring the economic impact of travel growth in your state or region. 

 

Advocate for one of the many issues that will help travel continue to thrive

To build on our industry’s continued success, we need pro-growth, pro-connectivity and pro-traveler policies to be implemented in communities across the country and at the federal level. Consider which of the following issues will most impact your destination’s growth and integrate it into your #TravelNow messaging. 

Adjusting the Passenger Facility Charge cap. 
The Passenger Facility Charge, or PFC—a small fee dedicated to funding infrastructure projects at airports—hasn’t seen an increase in nearly two decades. PFC-funded projects, like expanding terminals, building new gates and improving runways, will help local economies grow and give travelers more choices and greater connectivity.  

Defending tourism promotion budgets. 
Decreasing or eliminating travel promotion budgets negatively affects local economies due to a drop in overall visitation and traveler spending. By investing in tourism marketing and promotion, destinations are creating travel demand in their region, in turn generating visitor spending which spurs new jobs and boosts the local economy. 

Winning back America’s lost week of vacation. 
Project: Time Off has uncovered an alarming trend over the last 40 years: Americans are taking fewer and fewer vacation days. The belief that working long hours will help you get ahead, coupled with a culture of silence around vacation usage, has created a nation of work martyrs to the detriment of individuals, businesses, and the broader economy. We want Americans to understand the value and necessity of taking vacation.

Join the U.S. Travel Association and the travel community this May in celebrating “Travel Then and Now.” Check back in early 2018 for a comprehensive toolkit. 

If you have any questions or want to share how you’ll be celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week 2018, please contact Brittany Kemp, manager of industry communications, at BKemp@ustravel.org.