Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Investing in Tourism

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Investing in Tourism

Article excerpt

Tourism is a vital component to cities across our nation. Yet it is so interwoven into the fabric of our communities that it's easy to take for granted. So--once a year--during See America Week (May 7-15), we pause to recognize the extraordinary economic, social and cultural value of tourism.

Jobs

You could fill the New Orleans' Superdome a hundred times over with people directly employed in the tourism industry! One of America's largest employers, the industry directly generates 7.2 million travel jobs and $158 billion in payroll. However, its impact runs even deeper, because one out of every eight jobs is indirectly created by travel and tourism.

Think of it in terms of vacuum cleaners. For instance, in San Antonio, lodging properties spend over a quarter of a million dollars each year buying vacuums. That's a lot of vacuum cleaners manufactured and sold to hotels in just one city. Although the men and women who make and sell those vacuum cleaners don't work for the travel industry directly, they appreciate the income we provide.

I wonder how much was spent on vacuum cleaners in your community last year.

Now imagine how many millions are spent not just on vacuums, but on all the other services and products it takes to run all the hotels in your city--from the cleaning and construction materials to the food suppliers and architects. The indirect travel dollar seeps deep into our local economy, increasing industry, creating jobs and generating tax revenue. …

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