The Mountain Times

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Travel effect: The impact of Travel on individuals, communities and the economy

In 1983, U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution establishing National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW). In support, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities." The tradition is celebrated the first full week of May and paves the way for people to gather nationwide to spread the word of travel.

Thirty years later, travel is more relevant than ever. Travel has profound impacts on our national and our state economies, as well as businesses and Americans' personal lives. Therefore, the U.S. Travel Association has established a multi-year campaign, called Travel Effect, which sets out to conduct and deliver research proving the benefits of travel.

This research not only confirms what we have long known - that travel is good - but also provides a new way to spark meaningful conversations with elected officials. Policymakers can now see concrete evidence supporting the power of travel, and it is the job of every travel industry employee and every traveler to ensure that they receive this critical message.

When travelers go on vacation, their thoughts rarely stray to the effects that the trip has on local and national economies.
In 2012 alone, travelers spurred $2 trillion in spending, which results in $129 billion in tax revenues. This spending also supports 14.6 million American jobs.

Here in Vermont, travel generates $274.5 million in tax revenue and supports 37,910 jobs.

Travel supports small businesses, puts people to work and remains the number one American export. While the bulk of this impact is from leisure travelers on vacation, business travel is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy. Business travel, which includes sales trips, meetings, conventions and incentive trips, is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs.

National Travel and Tourism Week, May 4-12, is an opportunity for people to gather nationwide to recognize travel's many contributions. The value of out-of-town visitors, your next business trip or well-earned vacation means a lot to our local communities, Vermont and the nation's economy… and that in many ways is the Travel Effect.

VDTM's mission is to promote Vermont's travel, recreation, cultural and historic attractions, as well as the state's goods and services, in coordination with public and private sector partners and to market to a global audience in a manner consistent with the values and traditions of the state for the economic benefit of all Vermonters.

Megan Smith is a resident of Mendon, Vt. and the Commissioner of the Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM)