Town crier: May 3, 2017

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Americus-Sumter Tourism rallies in support of travel and tourism industry
AMERICUS  — The City of Americus’s Tourism Department will lead Sumter County’s travel and tourism community over the next week in support of Tourism in and around our community. The event is part of the 34th annual National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13), which unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.
“Just look at the numbers. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 437 jobs right here in Sumter County,” said Nicole Thurston Kirksey, director of Tourism for the City of Americus. “This week, we are celebrating what travel means to our community, and we call on everyone — from elected officials to local residents — to join us in saluting this important industry, and to support travel-friendly legislation that our local, state and national economies.”
The theme of this year’s NTTW, “Faces of Travel,” shines a spotlight on the people that make up America’s travel industry. Across Americus and Sumter County, travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance. Some of the numbers:
• 437 jobs are supported by travel and tourism in Americus & Sumter County.
• Travel and tourism generates $46 million in direct tourism spending in Sumter County.
• Tourism created $1.9 million in state tax revenues.
• Tourism generated $1.4 million in local tax revenues.
These local figures are an important part of travel’s economic importance nationwide. To wit:
• Travel is a $2.3 trillion industry in the U.S., with $990.3 billion in direct travel-related spending in the U.S. by domestic and international visitors in 2016.
• These visitors support 15.3 million American jobs — roughly 8.6 million direct travel jobs, and 6.7 million indirect and induced jobs.
• Travel-related spending generated $157.8 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2016.
“I am fortunate to have worked in the travel industry in Plains, Georgia with Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site for three years,” said Kim Fuller, executive director of the Friends. “I know travel has helped Plains & Sumter County immensely because of the tax revenue it generates, not to mention the countless businesses and jobs that are supported by our visitors. That’s why I’m proud to support travel National Travel & Tourism Week and tourism every day.”
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 Americus & Sumter County, Georgia. Numerous 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.
“Our industry is one that relies on human interaction,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “Whether it’s the front desk concierge at a hotel, the tour guide in a city’s historic district, or the CEO of a destination marketing organization, our people are what make America a great place to visit, and keep our economy strong. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we’re saluting the people behind the travel industry, and calling on our nation’s leaders to prioritize travel-friendly legislation, for the sake of millions of American workers.”
To learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week 2017, and see a list of events to support, visit our event page online at: