Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

travel-tourismTravel is ______. Travel means different things to different people, but most importantly, travel is necessary. Traveling allows us to relax, unwind, spend valuable time with our family, explore new places and create lifetime memories. Without travel, life would get mundane. Traveling on a vacation provides a great break from our busy routines and allows us to have an adventure in a new place. What better way to spend a few days off than visit a new destination like the mountains, a coastal city or quaint little town tucked away in the hills? There are even health benefits to traveling on a vacation.

Traveling is not only important for our well-being, but also to our country’s economy. This week, our country is celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week — a time to recognize the importance of the travel industry. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the travel industry provides more than 15 million jobs in the U.S., generates $2.1 trillion to the economy and is one of the largest U.S. exports, as international travelers spend foreign currency on our goods and services. We may be surprised by those numbers, but it’s important to keep this in mind throughout the year. Travel supports our nation’s communities.

We can all help by continuing to take time off from work and travel to new places. It may seem simple, but the money we spend on transportation, hotels, dining and shopping contributes greatly to local economies. By traveling, we help support jobs in other cities, as well as our own – like airport workers and cab drivers. Don’t forget the importance of all your vacation days. Don’t let your paid time off from work go unused. Just last year, Americans left 429 million vacation days unused – forfeiting $52.4 billion in time off benefits. Just one more day off each year would generate as much as $73 billion annually for the economy.

So let’s all rally together and remember this week is all about the importance of travel. Travel is relaxing. Travel is rewarding. Travel is essential to the economy. No matter how you fill in the blank, travel is vital to our country.