Many of us are likely familiar with the frequently touted (and research-proven) positive effects of travel on our work performance, relationships and personal well-being. But, with all the national conversation about creating and keeping good American jobs, how much thought do we give to travel’s economic power in our lives?

It certainly deserves our attention. Travel is a top-10 employer in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The industry played a major role in America’s economic recovery post-recession—and now, travel is our country’s number one service export, accounting for 11.2 percent of all U.S. exports in 2016. The U.S. travel industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has recovered far faster than other economic sectors since 2008. Spending by travelers everywhere in the U.S., which currently totals over $947 billion annually, supports 15.3 million American jobs. That’s one in nine Americans whose employment depends upon plenty of travelers moving to and within the U.S. 

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In Escambia County the travel industry fuels 16,000 jobs and direct spending in our local community.

Our industry is one that relies on human interaction—whether it’s the front desk clerk at a hotel, the tour guide in a historic district, or the ticketing agent at an airport, our people are what make America, specifically Pensacola a great place to visit and keep our industry strong. That’s why, as part of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2017, May 7-13, our industry is shining the spotlight on the people behind our nation’s travel industry with this year’s theme—“Faces of Travel”—and highlighting the need to craft smart, travel-friendly government policies that keep their jobs flourishing.  

“This week puts our local tourism industry in the spotlight and gives us the chance to emphasize how valuable this sector is to our community and our economy,” said Steve Hayes, president of Visit Pensacola. “Our average visitor spends more than $172 a day at our local businesses- from restaurants to shops to grocery stores and outdoor activities.”

These local figures are an important part of travel’s economic importance nationwide. Throughout the week, Visit Pensacola will host events aimed at showcasing Pensacola’s travel and tourism assets and energizing the community.

We encourage you to join us in our NTTW celebration. Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Join our rally event on May 9, 2017, at the Pensacola International Airport from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Have lunch with us on Wednesday, May 10th at the very first Hospitality Lunch in the Square from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. A community luncheon in Seville Square to gather, network and enjoy our local community and downtown area. This brown bag style lunch is for anyone to join.
  • On Thursday, May 11, 2017, we will recognize our area’s top frontline staff nominees and winners at the 2nd Annual Hospitality Heroes Luncheon. This lunch to be held at Skopelos at New World from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We will also hear from keynote speaker, Alex Sheen, founder of the Because I said I would movement. For more information on tickets and tables call Leslie Brosofsky, 850.433.5398 or you may order tickets online, click here
  • Get social and engage with the #nttw17 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. OR stop by one of our three Visitor Information Centers, Friday, and Saturday to enter to win a staycation!
    • Pensacola Beach, Friday 5/12 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Pensacola, Friday 5/12 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Perdido Key, Saturday 5/13 from 10 a.m. – Noon

For all information and to purchase tickets visit today!

National Travel & Tourism Week

This year’s NTTW is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a primary driver in the U.S. economy and an important part of our daily lives.