NORMAN — For the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau this is our favorite week of the year because this is National Tourism and Travel Week. We have a chance 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. Flights, hotel stays, restaurant meals and the many other forms of traveler spending add up to a significant amount that fuels our national economy. Travelers, in 2012 alone, spurred $2 trillion in spending, which results in $129 billion in tax revenues. This spending also supports 14.6 million American jobs — jobs that cannot be outsourced.
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 $1,060. In Oklahoma, tourism is the state’s third largest industry.
This week, the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated National Tourism Week and hosted our Annual Tourism Luncheon. On Wednesday, we joined local hoteliers, community leaders and city officials to celebrate the ground breaking of the Holiday Inn Express in University North Park which will add even more hotel rooms to our city.
I also participated in a media blitz throughout Western Oklahoma, promoting events and attractions for summer trips at various media outlets.
Also, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, our office assisted with the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional championship that the OU Jimmie Austin Golf Club hosted.
Each of these events featured a different aspect of travel from highlighting community partners at the luncheon to celebrating the beginning of a relationship with a new hotel property to promoting to potential leisure travelers to providing hospitality for participants in a sporting event.