National Travel and Tourism Week

May 3 - May 11, 2014


The Annual Salute to Travel and Tourism in America
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Since its establishment, the U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies.

Congress established National Tourism Week in 1983 to increase awareness of the travel and tourism industry's economic, social, and cultural contributions. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities." Industry leaders and public relations professionals from the major travel and tourism trade associations were the first volunteers to manage the annual event. By January 1986 industry leaders had formed a permanent full-time office at the U.S. Travel Association to sponsor the event and expand tourism awareness into year-round programs.

While the public often knows about tourism's direct impact on businesses like attractions, hotels and restaurants, less well-known is the indirect economic impact of tourism on the businesses that keep attractions, hotels and restaurants running. Businesses such as:

  • Hardware stores
  • Carpet and window distributors and manufacturers
  • Plumbing and construction companies.

When visitors come to North Carolina, businesses and citizens win.


National Travel and Tourism Week will be held May 3-11.

This year's theme is Travel Effect, U.S. Travel's advocacy and awareness campaign.

Resources for planning and staging local activities are available in the NTTW toolkit, which will be available soon.



NC Welcome Center Activities


North Carolina's nine Welcome Centers celebrate National Travel and Tourism week by inviting travel partners to help thank North Carolina's visitors for traveling here. Attractions and accommodations are invited to contact individual Welcome Center managers to coordinate participation in Tourism Day; there is no charge to participate, but space is limited and reservations are required. Welcome Center Tourism Week celebrations are scheduled for Wednesday, May 7 at I-40 West in Haywood County  and at I-77 North in Surry County; Thursday, May 8 at I-26 East in Polk County and I-95 North in Northampton County; and Friday, May 9 at I-26 West, I-26 West in Madison County, I-77 South in Mecklenburg County, I-85 North in Warren County and I-95 South in Robeson County.

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