Last September, Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports helped launch the Let’s Go There campaign, a domestic initiative to inspire future travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. All sectors of the travel industry united to encourage Americans to keep their travel flame lit and plan for “one day.”
For most of us, that day is here.
The vaccination rollout has been a strong success here in the U.S., cases have fallen dramatically from the winter surge and we are seeing businesses across the country reopening and welcoming back customers. I, like many of you, am ready to stop wondering and start wandering and reignite a sense of adventure that only travel can bring. In Tuscaloosa, our community events such as the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater shows, and Live at the Plaza are picking up steadily. Additionally, our hotels continue to see a positive uptick in bookings, attractions and museum traffic is picking up nicely, and our community members are filled with hope and excitement as they look forward to all that’s coming this year! It’s a great time to visit Tuscaloosa.
I am thrilled to see the return of our industry and the travelers we serve. We’ve all missed traveling—the excitement, the anticipation that comes with planning a vacation, spending time with friends and family, and exploring different parts of our great country. And of course, Tuscaloosa has missed our guests this past year—hopefully, that will soon change.
According to an April Harris Poll and Destination Analysts survey, 77% of Americans plan on traveling this summer. In fact, two-thirds of Americans have some sort of travel planned (36%) or booked (30%). While many of us may be dreaming about our next vacation, we need to ensure that we are taking the crucial step of actually booking and taking a trip in the U.S.
Thanks to the strong safety measures in place and the ramped-up vaccination campaign, this is the right moment to reclaim our time lost and renew our sense of adventure. Americans rightly remain concerned about protecting their health and safety and so are we. It has and always will be our top priority. We have Plexiglas to protect our gatekeeper, increased weekly cleaning routine, and enforced social distancing to ensure everyone’s safety.
When you and your family are ready to say “Let’s Go There”—and I hope that will be very soon—Tuscaloosa is ready and eager to welcome you back.
Let’s not spend another day in the ordinary and go find the extraordinary.
National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8) spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry.
This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength of the U.S. travel and tourism
industry and its dynamic workforce.
The 38th annual NTTW, taking place May 2-8, recognizes the Power of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in bringing back our vibrant
communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America.
Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. The industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs, and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S. Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hard-working Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment. Here in Tuscaloosa, travel spending went from $697 million in 2019 to $450 million in 2020. However, Tuscaloosa—and the travel industry—is resilient.
While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, our industry united like never before, lifted each other up, aided one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of supporting and restoring all sectors of travel. This year’s NTTW is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in our industry’s story and celebrate its collective power by spotlighting the innumerable ways travel will drive recovery, bring Americans together again, and help define our country’s path forward.
Tuscaloosa is participating in NTTW by incorporating the Power of Travel content into all of our social media platforms for the week.
From the Civil Rights Trail to The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of Tuscaloosa—this NTTW.