Wilmington, NC: Travel partners across New Hanover County will rally during National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11, to celebrate the positive impacts of travel on our community. Now in its 36th year, National Travel & Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the travel and tourism industry to recognize the value that travel brings to local economies, businesses and personal well-being. This year’s theme, “Travel Matters,” salutes travel in America and commemorates the many ways in which tourism impacts communities that benefit from tourism dollars.
At their April 15 meeting, New Hanover County Commissioners signed a Proclamation to designate May 5-11, 2019 as National Travel & Tourism Week in New Hanover County. Local travel partners will join the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in this industry-wide observance with activities that celebrate tourism by engaging visitors, stakeholders and elected officials. Local activities during National Travel & Tourism Week include:
- During the week of May 5-11, Visitor Information Centers will display “Thank You for Visiting” posters and distribute free mints to visitors.
- Travel partners and visitor information specialists will wear bright red “Thank You for Visiting” ribbons.
- On Friday, May 10th the CVB will host the 6th annual Travel Rally Breakfast to share the importance of Travel and Tourism with hospitality industry employees and elected officials. In keeping with the theme “Travel Matters,” the program will demonstrate why travel matters in New Hanover County. The program will include insights from our Hurricane/Comeback Recovery Campaign and an update on the TDA’s newly adopted 3-year Strategic Destination Plan. The CVB will also introduce exciting new marketing assets and announce the recipients of the 3rd annual Tourism Star Award and an honorary Tourism Pioneer Award.
National Travel and Tourism Week is also a time to share the industry’s positive impacts. The travel industry is among America’s largest employers, providing millions of jobs that cannot be outsourced. In North Carolina travel and tourism is among the state’s fastest growing industries, with domestic travelers spending a record $24 billion in 2017. Here in New Hanover County travel provides more than 6,320 jobs and supports a payroll of $141.30 million. Tourism also supports small and large businesses across many economic sectors, including: hospitality, retail, food service, sports, arts, entertainment, and transportation, and more. Room occupancy tax collections in New Hanover County for fiscal year 2017-2018 recorded a seventh consecutive record year with over $12.9 million in collections. According to a Visit North Carolina study, tourism expenditures in New Hanover County also had record year in 2017 (most recent data available), with an estimated $578.22 million in tourism expenditures, ranking it as #8 among N.C.’s 100 counties. Travel to our destination generates approximately $51.58 million in state and local tax receipts and represents a $226.98 tax saving to each New Hanover County resident.
“During National Travel and Tourism Week we celebrate the many ways that travel matters in our community,” states Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “Travel matters to businesses—small and large—that are impacted, either directly or indirectly, by the new dollars that visitors bring into our community. Travel also matters to our local citizens, as dollars generated by tourism help to build our local tax base and provide a tax relief of $226.98 for every resident of New Hanover County. Additionally, a portion of the room occupancy tax collections helps to renourish our beaches, fund our convention center, and offset other tourism-related activities such as ocean safety programs.”
For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week, visit the U.S. Travel Association’s website at www.ustravel.org. The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County which stimulates economic development through the promotion of travel and tourism: www.WilmingtonAndBeaches.com.