Travel and tourism benefits all of us

National Travel and Tourism Week came earlier in May, and the travel and tourism industry has been celebrating the wonder of travel. Festivities were held around the nation from the main streets of small town America to our big cities. Travel provides great benefits to our local economy and strengthens our social and cultural character.

United States residents and international visitors spent $2.1 trillion across the country, contributing more than $130 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. Travel is among the top 10 employers in 49 states, directly employing about 8 million people at a payroll of $209 billion.

In Oregon, visitors to the state spent over $9.6 billion and directly supported 93,900 jobs.

In 2013, travelers pumped $519 million into cash registers in Washington County, a 5.3 percent increase over 2012. Travel and tourism supports more than 6,000 jobs, almost $30 million in state tax receipts and $9 million in local taxes.

Here in Washington County, travel is not all about tourism. Business travel boosts profits. One study found that every $1 spent on business travel drives nearly $3 in profit — a 300 percent return on investment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. travel industry recovered faster than other economic sectors, already restoring 111 percent of the jobs lost to the recession, while the rest of the economy has only recovered 90 percent.

Travel doesn’t just grow our economy and boost our productivity; it connects us as people, keeps us healthy and makes us happy. It introduces us to new friends and brings new ideas to our community.

National Travel and Tourism Week provides an opportunity for us to sit down together and talk about how to responsibly grow this industry that supports so many great things in our lives.

Carolyn E. McCormick


Washington County Visitors Association

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