It’s our industry’s time to shine.

National Travel and Tourism Week 2019, the 36th annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, will take place on May 5-11.

This year’s theme is “Travel Matters,” a recognition of the innumerable ways in which travel enriches lives and strengthens communities. Each day of NTTW will spotlight a different example of why travel matters to America (we’ll reveal these daily topics in the weeks ahead).

While we will be highlighting just seven examples of why travel matters, there are so many reasons to celebrate this industry. In fact, we can think of 15.6 million: that’s the number of American jobs supported by travel. All across the country—from the most scenic rural towns to the biggest, bustling cities, and in all 435 congressional districts—travel jobs bolster economies and support families.

Jobs and the economy are important, but we will also tip our hats to the other aspects of travel—the stuff you won’t see on a spreadsheet. We’ll be celebrating how travel opens the door to new experiences, the feeling of unwinding on vacation and the countless memories we make with loved ones when we get out and explore America.

Here’s how you can use U.S. Travel’s NTTW toolkit and join us in celebrating “Travel Matters.”

Get active on social media
Have fun with this year’s theme by referencing the toolkit’s Tweet Sheet. Consider giving the posts your own twist to make it unique to your destination or organization—and don’t forget to use the #nttw19 hashtag!

Last year, #nttw18 was shared 10,000 times on Twitter—reaching more than 89 million users. Destinations and organizations from all 50 states—including Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—joined in to celebrate.

New this year to the NTTW toolkit will be a social media calendar. Each day of the calendar will focus on a different aspect of the Travel Matters theme and can help guide your social media strategy for the week. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks to learn what those topics will be.

Demonstrate travel’s economic impact
Has travel to your destination exploded in the past 10 years? Has the addition of a new attraction resulted in a surge of new jobs? U.S. Travel has a number of interactive research tools—including the Economic Impact MapInteractive Travel Analytics (subscription required) and Travel Economic Impact Calculator—to help demonstrate travel’s impact on your destination.

Host an event
Consider organizing a travel rally or event on May 7 for Travel Rally Day. If you plan on hosting an event, get the word out by adding it to U.S. Travel’s interactive event map. Last year, more than 500 NTTW events took place across the country.

Advocate for travel
We know that travel is crucial to American jobs and the economy—make sure your local elected officials understand the strength of this industry, too. Encourage community leaders to declare an official NTTW proclamation, or write a guest column for your local paper highlighting the specific contributions travel makes to your community (we’ve created a sample to help you get started).  

You can also share a behind-the-scenes perspective into the travel industry in your own community with elected officials by organizing a Travel Talks. Contact us to start planning a Travel Talks in your community.

If you have any questions or want to share how you’ll be celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week 2019, please contact Nikki Carpenter, manager of digital communications, at ncarpenter@ustravel.org.