NORMAN — This past week has been National Travel and Tourism Week.
Congress declared the second week of May as National Travel and Tourism Week in 1983 to highlight how travel and tourism can build not only our national economy but also the impact the “travel effect” has on states and municipalities as well. For VisitNorman, we have a chance to lock arms with our tourism colleagues across the nation and highlight what we do and what a difference it makes.
Travel is more relevant than ever as a driver of the U.S. economy as the industry creates jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the economy. When travelers go on vacation, their thoughts rarely stray to the effects that the trip has on local and national economies.
Without even realizing it, travelers drive revenue into a broad spectrum of businesses and local establishments, including food services, public transportation, lodging and retail. The tax revenue generated reduces the amount of money that each U.S. household would pay in taxes by $1,093. In Oklahoma, tourism is the state’s third largest industry.
Locally, the amount of money collected by the transient guest tax totaled $1.287 million during Fiscal Year 2013, with an estimated economic impact of travel to Norman by overnight visitors and leisure travelers of $146 million. Between Norman’s annual events and fairs along with University of Oklahoma athletic events, conferences and meetings, an estimated 1.5 million people have visited Norman in the past year.
Although National Travel and Transportation Week ends today, VisitNorman will be celebrating at our Annual Tourism Luncheon at the National Weather Center on Tuesday. Because May 13 is the day that Norman was officially incorporated as a city back in 1891, we wanted to celebrate our city’s birthday as well as tourism and its importance as an economic driver for our community.