LANSING – The Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) and Travel Michigan has again recognized National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) – the annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry.
This year, NTTW spotlighted resilience and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with the 2020 theme: “The Spirit of Travel.”
Celebrated each year during the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 37th NTTW arrived at an opportune moment to unite the industry, celebrate its indomitable spirit and elevate the role it will play in America’s economic recovery.
“This week we are celebrating the spirit of travel and its impact on our state. We are seeking the support of elected officials and Michigan residents in showing appreciation for the hospitality workers in this vital industry,” Tourism Industry Coalition President Darren Ing stated ahead of the event, which ran May 3-9.
“Travel and tourism are an essential component to enjoying all the beauty Michigan has to offer while supporting those individuals and businesses that contribute to that success,” Ing continued. “While we miss travel right now, we look forward to when we can travel again. This week we celebrate all that unites us in the spirit of travel in Michigan.”
For Michigan’s 2020 NTTW celebration, TICOM is releasing a video that highlights this year’s theme, by showing the diversity of places and people throughout Pure Michigan that embrace the spirit of travel, bringing joy and memorable experiences to millions each year.
Michiganders are also encouraged to show their support of the travel industry on social media, using the hashtag #spiritoftravel.
Tourism spending directly supported 227,497 jobs in Michigan in 2018. The state welcomed 124.8 million visitors in 2018 and visitor spending rose about four percent, to $25.7 billion. This generated $2.8 billion in state and local taxes, according to Travel Michigan.
“Even in the face of an incredibly challenging time for our state, National Travel and Tourism Week is an opportunity to remind our visitors and our residents of the incredible spirit and resiliency of the travel industry and our workforce,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “When the time is right, Pure Michigan will be ready to welcome travelers with open arms. And in the meantime, we are two peninsulas, and one Pure Michigan, united against adversity.”
The MEDC says that, in addition to benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents and visitors of Michigan. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with family is important for all, particularly children, as those who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.
It is also noted that travel is a $2.6 trillion industry in the U.S., with visitors supporting 15.8 million American jobs, roughly nine million direct travel jobs and 6.8 million indirect jobs. Travel-related spending generated $180 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue in 2019.
According to the MEDC, the tourism industry allows Michigan visitors to see first-hand the myriad of opportunities the state has to offer. From its provision of relaxation destinations and natural areas for exploration, to its all-encompassing business site locations, the travel and tourism industry is continually validating the message that Michigan is the perfect place to work, live and play.
To learn more about the economic impact of tourism to Michigan, visit https://medc.app.box.com/s/oheae29l9u5204v6myfviuhph5ax5btp.