Austin CVB excited for tourism week

Published 5:56 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tourism executive director Cheryl Corey and the staff of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau are observing the 29th annual National Travel and Tourism Week this week in Austin. Staff are noting the “Vote Travel” theme as part of the U.S. Travel Association’s year-long campaign to raise the travel industry’s profile across the country and among policymakers during this election season.

“Travel and tourism supports 14.4 million jobs across the nation, including many right here in Austin and Mower County,” Corey said in a news release. “We are drawing attention to this week to celebrate the benefits of travel in our community, and we’re letting our elected officials and local citizens know that a vote for travel is a vote for Austin/Mower County/and all of Southern Minnesota.”

Travel and tourism is a $11.3 billion industry for Minnesota, according to the news release, providing 235,000 jobs and generating $732 million in state sales tax revenue. Travel is a broad and diverse industry, employing a vast workforce from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. Travel and tourism further supports employees in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance.

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“Travel is a force that can drive our nation’s economic recovery. It is one of the healthiest sectors of our economy in terms of job creation and hiring, employing one out of every nine Americans,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “During this election season, we are galvanizing support to ‘Vote Travel’ to showcase the power of our industry and its impact on our economy.”

Travel and tourism generated $1.9 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2011.

“I’ve worked in the travel industry for several years, and we depend on visitors to come to Austin and contribute to our local economic impact,” Corey said. “When people make the choice to travel to our area, it makes an enormous impact on the residents who live and work here. A vote for travel is a vote for Austin and all of Minnesota.”