Visit NC Smokies is the Power of Travel
National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8) spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry.
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 Haywood County, more than 1,910 jobs are directly attributable to travel & tourism. State tax revenues generated from travel to Haywood County are $11.14 million. As a result of tourism, the tax savings per Haywood County resident is $296.22
However, Haywood County—and the travel industry—is 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.
Visit NC Smokies is participating in NTTW by collaborating with Jackson and Transylvania County TDA’s on May 5, 2021, at 10AM hosting a virtual event. Let’s all come together to celebrate the outdoors, tourism, and a bright future. Keynote speakers will include both Witt Tuttell and Heidi Walters of Visit North Carolina. Wit Tuttell, Executive Director of Visit NC, will discuss the current state of tourism, future travel sentiment and preview a new marketing campaign the state is rolling out. Heidi Walters, Director of Partner and Industry Relations of Visit NC, will discuss a new Outdoors NC initiative and how our three counties are involved.
From Maggie Valley to Canton and beyond, Haywood’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Visit NC Smokies, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of Haywood—this NTTW.