National Travel and Tourism Week runs May 4-12 - | WBTV Charlotte

Let the packing begin: Tourism Week celebrated across U.S.

People take a look around the Alamo in San Antonio, TX, a common tourist spot that draws visitors from around the U.S. (Source: KTVN) People take a look around the Alamo in San Antonio, TX, a common tourist spot that draws visitors from around the U.S. (Source: KTVN)
  • TravelMore>>

  • The best camping hammocks

    The best camping hammocks

    Sunday, June 24 2018 9:31 AM EDT2018-06-24 13:31:35 GMT
    Traditional camping tents are great but when the heat of the summer sun is beating down, a proper hammock is the best way to comfortably snooze. However, hammocks are a dime a dozen, so to help sort through what's...More >>
    Traditional camping tents are great but when the heat of the summer sun is beating down, a proper hammock is the best way to comfortably snooze. However, hammocks are a dime a dozen, so to help sort through what's...More >>
  • The best hiking GPS trackers of 2018

    The best hiking GPS trackers of 2018

    Friday, June 15 2018 12:27 PM EDT2018-06-15 16:27:37 GMT
    It's easy to get lost in the wilderness, and often hard to find your way back. The easiest solution: simplify things with one of the best hiking GPS devices, so you can veer off the beaten path whenever you want.More >>
    It's easy to get lost in the wilderness, and often hard to find your way back. The easiest solution: simplify things with one of the best hiking GPS devices, so you can veer off the beaten path whenever you want.More >>
  • Triwa’s latest watch is made from the parts of illegal firearms

    Triwa’s latest watch is made from the parts of illegal firearms

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:29 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:29:11 GMT
    Swedish watchmaker Triwa and Humanium Metal have joined forces to create a new timepiece that is made from the parts of deconstructed illegal firearms, with sales going to help rebuild conflict zones around the world.More >>
    Swedish watchmaker Triwa and Humanium Metal have joined forces to create a new timepiece that is made from the parts of deconstructed illegal firearms, with sales going to help rebuild conflict zones around the world.More >>

(RNN) – Although Memorial Day is almost three weeks away, the official beginning of the travel season has already arrived.

May 4 through 12 is National Travel and Tourism Week, and cities across America are observing it with rallies and other celebrations for a multi-trillion dollar industry that is vital to the life of the economy.

The Gulf Coast, still in recovery mode from natural and man-made disasters in recent years, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of tourism.

Hotel workers in New Orleans celebrated this week with a Louisiana-style parade and for good reason. The hospitality industry supplied 10 percent of jobs in the state.

"We had 23.6 million visitors in Louisiana last year spending $10.6 billion, $656 million in direct taxes to the state by people visiting," Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne told WWL. "So that means jobs – 8,000 new jobs in Louisiana."

Nationally, the impact of the industry becomes even more critical.

One in every eight jobs in the U.S. depends on travel and tourism, according to the U.S. Travel Association. It is also estimated that nearly one-fifth of every American worker started his or her career in the travel business.

Of the $2 trillion total economic output in 2012, domestic and international travelers directly spent more than $855 billion. That created another $1 trillion spent in other industries.

"Travel jobs provide important, transferable skills that are indispensable to career success," said USTA president and chief executive officer Roger Dow in the organization's recent report. "Careers in travel deliver financial security with the majority of travel industry workers earning a middle-class income or higher."

Travelers set records for hotel room stays in last year, and that demand is expected to increase this year, according to Smith Travel Research, a company that tracks hotel trends.

The demand for rooms is outpacing contractors' ability to construct them.

Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 to designate the first full week in May as National Tourism Week, and it was first celebrated in 1984.

The industry has grown to become a top 10 employer in 48 states.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly