While every day is a day that we celebrate the tourism and hospitality industry, National Travel & Tourism Week, May 1 - 7, 2016, is our opportunity to shine the spotlight even brighter. Nationally, domestic and international travelers spend an average of $2.6 billion dollars a day and 1 out of every 9 U.S. jobs depend on travel and tourism.
Here in Niagara County, tourism is our second largest employer and makes up 20% of our local workforce. Tourism sales generates approximately $65 million in both state and local taxes which equates to about $735 in savings per Niagara County household.
Tourism matters. The local and national numbers prove that this industry is critical to our economic growth and vitality. While the numbers don't lie and they are certainly impressive, the spotlight this week deserves to shine elsewhere -- on our hospitality and tourism workforce. From tour operators and ticket takers to front desk agents and housekeepers, these individuals are the backbone of our industry and are often the first touchpoints for our visitors. Each and every employee plays a critical role in making Niagara USA a world-class destination and the success of the tourism industry could not and would not exist without them.
As our way of saying "thank you" to all those hardworking men and women of the hospitality industry across Niagara County, today we are hosting our 2nd Annual Day of Appreciation. This is a free and fun-filled event with food, music, prizes and games to show our appreciation for the exceptional service these individuals provide to our visitors. It is by far our favorite event of the year!
In the spirit of National Travel & Tourism Week, we can proudly say there has never been a better time to visit Niagara USA and that is largely thanks to the dedicated employees throughout this important and exciting industry. We can't possibly say thank you enough but we'll do it one more time for good measure, THANK YOU!