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National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is celebrating its 40th year in 2023.
Taking place May 7-13, the week-long event seeks to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel's essential role in stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, inspiring and growing new businesses and improving the quality of life for people across the country.In Virginia, the Norfolk Tourism Foundation and VisitNorfolk are celebrating NTTW by recognizing city hospitality workers and naming more than a dozen Champions of Hospitality Winners."Our tourism industry and visitor economy are driven by our hospitality workers and it is truly an honor to be able to provide these champions of hospitality with the recognition they deserve," Kurt Krause, President and CEO of VisitNorfolk, said in a statement. "Our tourism industry has done remarkably well in continuing the excellent hospitality that Norfolk is known for, and we are very excited for the year ahead."Elsewhere in the Hampton Roads region, Newport News Tourism is hosting multiple events this week, including a Familiarization Tour and a Tourism Awards Luncheon, according to WAVY. The destination is also holding a community-wide contest for people 18 and older who will have a chance to win gift cards to different Newport News restaurants, tickets to attractions in the area, or gift certificates to local businesses.To enter, fill out this form, matching eight experiences to their Newport News locations by May 24. Winners will be announced on May 31.
Downtown Waco, Texas (Photo via benedek/iStock Unreleased)
Meanwhile, tourism officials in Waco, Texas are celebrating NTTW and the city's recent tourism boom by debuting a new mobile welcome center. "We hope that our new mobile welcome center can help engage tourists and locals, alike," Kaitlyn Skinner, the marketing assistant for the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau, told KWTX.In Florida, New Smyrna Beach Area tourism industry officials gathered this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of NTTW, handing out the 2023 Tourism Champion Awards to Port Orange Mayor Donald O. Burnette, the Smith Family, owners of the Black Dolphin Inn, and NSBAVB Volunteers Nanci Agett and Phillip Hall. What's more, two Sustainable Tourism Awards were given to the Hampton Inn & Suites NSB and Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co for their commitment to the bureau’s sustainability program.The NSBAVB also presented highlights of its Destination Master Plan centering on sustainable destination marketing and management."We are so fortunate to enjoy incredible support from the hospitality and tourism businesses and professionals in our area," said NSBAVB CEO and President Debbie Meihls. "Working together, we are poised to thrive and survive whatever may come."
A couple strolls through an Edna Valley vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California. (photo via Visit SLO)
On the West Coast, Visit SLO CAL, the countywide Destination Marketing and Management Organization for San Luis Obispo County, announced tourism reached a record-breaking $2.15 billion in direct travel spending impact. The figure marks a 13.8 percent increase in year-over-year numbers and a 6 percent increase from 2019, the previous record high ($2.02 billion).SLO CAL welcomed 7.47 million visitors last year, nearly 2019 levels, meaning visitors spent more money during their trips."We are ecstatic to share the news of our record-breaking year for tourism," Chuck Davison, President and CEO of Visit SLO CAL, said in a statement. "Tourism is the number two economic driver in the region, second only to agriculture. Travel impacts every sector of business and supports local economies across the globe, including right here in SLO CAL. Visitors support numerous sectors across SLO CAL including accommodations, transportation, food and beverage, attractions, retail and more. Between the taxes tourism generates and the local businesses it supports, tourism plays an important role in positively contributing to the quality of life for our residents."
Travel Oregon also celebrated new highs across most tourism categories in 2022 while officials in Tennessee celebrated a record $27.5 billion in travel spending last year.
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A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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