We pass popular tourist sites like Huntsville, The Rocket City, every day; we may not even think of how it supports our community. But U.S. Space and Rocket Center and others like Huntsville Botanical Garden and the U.S. Veteran Memorial Museum are the backbone of Huntsville. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us—and hundreds of thousands of annual visitors—a lifetime of memories.
Travel matters, and it improves Huntsville in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on local residents. Travel supports thousands of jobs in Huntsville, and it also has an impact that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another.
Travel Matters to America
At the national level, travel is critical to the U.S. economy and American jobs. As a leader in workforce development and career advancement–travel creates and supports 15.7 million jobs across the U.S.– making it the seventh-largest private sector employer. In 2018, traveler spending generated $171 billion in total tax revenue, including $78.6 billion in state and local revenue. That $78.6 billion can pay for a host of critical resources: it’s more than enough to pay all state and local police and firefighters, or the more than one million public high school teachers.
Travel is powerful for cities and states, and Huntsville is no exception. Visitors in 2018 spent a total of $1.3 billion.
Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked at Big Spring Cafe, or maybe your kids work there now. For many–one third of Americans to be exact–travel is the front door to a promising career. Americans whose first job in travel have an average career salary of $81,900, and two in 5 of those whose first job was in travel are now earning more than $100,000.
Think about how travel matters to Huntsville Botanical Gardens: travel-dependent leisure and hospitality is the largest small business employer in the U.S.
Those are only a few reasons why it’s so important to keep welcoming visitors to Huntsville—and why our industry is elevating the message of “Travel Matters” during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 5-11. We encourage you to join us in observing NTTW this year, and celebrate all that travel does for DESTINATION, and for our country as a whole.
Here are a few ways to get involved:
• Register for Huntsville/Madison County CVB Tourism Summit on May 16 at the Von Braun Center.
• Contact our member of Congress and tell them why travel is important to Huntsville.
• Get social and engage with the #nttw19 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Share how travel matters in your community.