Susie Santo: Tourism has a big impact

05/10/2013 7:03 AM

05/10/2013 7:04 AM

You remember the trips, the memories made with family, the funny stories that are created while exploring. But unless you are in the travel and tourism industry, you may be hard-pressed to know the true impact these memory-making weekends have on Wichita.

This is National Travel and Tourism Week, which celebrates not only the fabulous traveling opportunities across the nation but also the effect of those trips and visitors on the national and local economies.

Flights, hotel stays, restaurant meals and the many other forms of traveler spending add up to a significant amount that fuels our national economy. In 2012 alone, travelers spurred $2 trillion in spending, which resulted in $129 billion in tax revenues. This spending supports 14.6 million American jobs – jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Travel supports small businesses, puts people to work and remains the No. 1 American export. Such economic figures cannot be ignored.

From the nearly $1 million impact of the International Machine Quilters Association meeting this week in Wichita to the $14 million of economic impact of the 100th Women’s Championship for the United States Bowling Congress coming to Wichita in spring of 2019, travel and tourism are making a difference in our local economy every day.

National Travel and Tourism Week is an opportunity for people to gather nationwide to recognize travel’s many contributions. The value of out-of-town visitors, your next business trip or a well-earned vacation means a lot to local communities, states and the nation’s economy.

We are thankful for visitors to Wichita. Now that you see the effect they have on our local economy and the breadth of choices we have to offer them, I hope you are thankful as well.

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