VisitColumbusGA Leads Community Efforts to Celebrate Travel and Tourism Industry 

May 3, 2018



For Immediate Release


Contact: Peter Bowden

              President & CEO







VisitColumbusGA Leads Community Efforts to Celebrate Travel and Tourism Industry 


Strong partnerships create success for unique and fun experiences




Columbus, GA 5.3.2018— VisitColumbusGAbegins a week-long recognition of Columbus, GA’stravel and tourism community. 


The 35thAnnual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), which runs May 6-12, unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. 


“Just look at the numbers. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including more than 4300 right here in Columbus,” said Peter Bowden, President & CEO, VisitColumbusGA.  “This week, we are celebrating what travel means to our community. We’re calling on everyone—from elected officials to local residents—to join us in saluting this important industry. 


The theme of this year’s NTTW, “Travel Then and Now,” highlights the travel industry’s history of economic impact and its message of welcoming travelers. Throughout Columbus, travel employs a diverse workforce, from hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance. 

Some of the numbers: 

  • 4300 jobs are supported by travel and tourism in Columbus, with $119 million in estimated payroll 
  • Travel and tourism generates $38 million in local sales and lodging tax revenue for the city
  • With1.9 million visitors to Columbus last year, that resulted in a $346 million economic impact
  • This means a $527 tax savings per household in Columbus


These local figures are an important part of travel’s economic importance nationwide: 

  • Travel is a $2.4 trillion industry in the U.S.
  • These visitors support 15.6 million American jobs—roughly 8.8 million direct travel jobs, and 6.8 million indirect and induced jobs. 
  • Travel-related spending generated $75.6 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2017. 


In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents and visitors of Columbus.  Research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with family is good for everyone, especially our children—kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.  

“Many aspects of the U.S. travel experience may have changed over the years, but one thing hasn’t--our industry’s enduring ethos of welcoming travelers from near and far,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “Whether we’re talking about 1968 or 2018, welcoming visitors allows our industry to create travel jobs that have been a gateway to the middle class for millions—and they’re completely non-exportable, no matter how much the global economy changes. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we’re saluting travel’s long history as an economic engine in our country, and calling on our nation’s leaders to prioritize travel-friendly legislation, for the sake of millions of American workers.” 




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