Adapting to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on travel and in-person gatherings, the U.S. Travel Association will host its first-ever virtual road trip on Tuesday, May 5 during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW).
In addition to the road trip, U.S. Travel is also encouraging communities to come together, provide support and show their appreciation for the benefits of travel and tourism in this moment when both are sidelined by the health emergency.
These activities are in support of this year’s “Spirit of Travel” theme, which is intended to spotlight the industry’s strength and resilience, and to look ahead to the eventual recovery from the current health and economic crisis.
“This year’s NTTW is happening amidst an unprecedented societal challenge, but that makes it even more appropriate to pause and consider what travel means to this country,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “It is more critical than ever to appreciate the economic and cultural importance of travel, and celebrate its indomitable spirit.”
Beginning on the East Coast at 9 a.m. EDT and concluding on the West Coast at 9 p.m. EDT, each state has a time slot on May 5 during which members of the travel industry can use the hashtag #VirtualRoadTrip to share how their destination or business embodies the spirit of travel.
With eight million American jobs projected to disappear by the end of April due to declines in travel, travel-related businesses are in dire need of relief to sustain themselves through to the recovery phase.
“NTTW is a reminder of what we are really fighting for—the workers who power this vital industry,” Dow said. “This year’s celebration should underscore to communities and policymakers the indispensable role travel and tourism will have in leading America’s economic recovery.”
U.S. Travel has built a resource toolkit with alternative options to promote the spirit of travel during NTTW. These resources have a heavy emphasis on social media engagement, and encourage optimism, preparation for the future and support for coronavirus relief efforts.
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.