To get the most out of your Natchez trip, get the new Visitor Guide - FREE!
The Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with the Natchez National Park Service will lead the city's travel industry workers and tourism partners on Monday, May 7 at the gazebo on the Natchez bluff, as part of the 29th annual National Travel and Tourism Week. Employees representing major sectors of the local travel industry will attend Travel Week Kick-Off event in a show of support for the jobs and economic impact created by visitors to Natchez.
More than 75 cities nationwide are expected to hold events to champion travel as a significant jobs creator and revenue generator. Many events will be staged under 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 Natchez," said Connie Taunton, Director of Tourism, "We are rallying today 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 Natchez."
Travel and tourism revenue expenditures for Natchez in 2011, was an estimated $90 million, providing an average of $8 million in State and Local Taxes to the city. According to Mississippi statistics, Natchez has just over 2,000 employees working directly in a travel or tourism job, which is 18.3 percent of the workforce of the city. 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.
"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. We will support the candidates who best support, understand, and appreciate our industry."
Travel and tourism generated $1.9 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2011. The industry also represents one of America's largest employers, supporting 14.4 million jobs (including 7.5 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.2 billion a day, $92.8 million an hour, $1.5 million a minute and $25,700 a second.
"I've worked in the Natchez tourism industry for a number of years now, and I depend largely on visitors for my living," said Visitor Center Manager, Anna Byrne. "When people make the choice to travel to Natchez, it makes an enormous impact on the residents who live and work here."