Beyond R&R: How Travel Can Save the World
Vacations benefit everyone. Whether they’re modern-day Marco Polo trips traversing thousands of miles through unfamiliar lands, business people meeting face-to-face with important partners, or weekenders escaping to a lakeside or coastal retreats, travel reduces stress and enhances relationships. By seeing how others live, travel can open our minds, teach us how to adapt and help us understand the ways of the world. In short, travel makes us better people.
But travel is also good for businesses and governments dependent on visitor spending. Travel/tourism is one of America’s largest industries and biggest employers, according to the U.S. Travel Association (USTA). In today’s economy, people can really make a difference by doing something as simple as taking a vacation. Not only will they prioritize time for themselves and the people they care about, they’ll also contribute to job creation and the economic well-being of the places they visit.
What could be more meaningful than helping the U.S. economy? Thinking beyond the front desk, the pool and Twitter, see yourself as an economic driver, not only a traveler marketer. It’s a powerful concept.
So, let’s start creating jobs! Now is a great time to encourage consumer travel. Here are a few resources to help you in your efforts:
- Think big picture. This Atlantic Monthly article, "How Tourism Can Help Save the U.S. Economy," describes opportunities and challenges. Reading it will help you understand the potential the impact of your work.
- Line up your facts to share. The Power of Travel website provides data for the U.S. your area. Get information on the economic impact of travel in your area by clicking on your state. Data on travel spending, tax, payroll, and employment for your state and district are available.
- Plan a Travel Matters campaign. Designed to call attention to the important economic impact of this industry, National Travel and Tourism Week is May 5-13. The USTA has assembled a handy toolkit travel marketers can use for promoting the occasion, providing templates for media materials, letters to the editor as well as organizing rallies and other events.
- Give visitors a voice. Encourage people to watch this YouTube video and vote for travel on the Vote for Travel and Get America Moving website if they agree vacations make a difference.
- Cater to international visitors. The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board is working to make it easier for international travelers to visit and to increase the numbers of foreign visitors coming to the U.S. Make sure your destination is ready by putting measures into place to attract these far-away consumers. Whether it’s building foreign-language versions of your websites, offering helpful advice during visits or encouraging local hotels to provide TV shows in many languages, there is much travel marketers can do to make international travelers feel more welcome.
We in the travel industry have chosen a profession that makes a difference. Not only do we enjoy travelling, we’re drawn to help travelers make the most of their holidays. We’re lucky to do what we love while helping change the world in the process.