September 8, 2009

What’s all this about tourism?

 

Tourism and economic development

Tourism and economic development

Tourism. It’s vital for many countries and many island nations. It’s also important for the economic development of the State of Delaware and its neighboring states. Millions of dollars are brought into these states through businesses that serve both tourists and locals, and thousands of jobs are created in service industries associated with tourism.

Whether it’s trips to nearby attractions (25% of the population of the United States is located within a four-hour drive of Delaware) or weekly visits to the lovely beach communities that line the eastern coast of New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula, tourism is key to this area’s economic development.

Want a novel way to raise awareness of your state? Missouri created a lot of buzz recently by giving away a Harley Davidson motorcycle and later contacting the contest entrants with information about the state and its attractions. It makes sense for states to invest in tourism, because tourism pays back. According to Rich Harrill, director of the Institute for Tourism Research at the University of South Carolina, “Tourism is the world’s largest industry and it’s going to continue to be very important as an economic development strategy, as an industry nationally.”

Here are some fun facts, courtesy of the U.S. Travel Industry Association:
* Travel and tourism is a $1.6 trillion industry in the United States. If one dollar bill equaled a second of time, then $1.6 trillion would equal almost 51,000 years.
* Travel and tourism generates $110 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. If you placed 110 billion one-dollar bills end-to-end, they would circle the world 419 times.
* Each U.S. household would pay $995 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry. That $995 will buy about five weeks of groceries for a family of four, will fill the average car with gas 17 times, or will even pay the average cost of a ticket to a Michigan vs. Ohio State football game.

Never underestimate the power of tourism and its ability to generate dollars for the local economy.

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