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VISITORS BUREAU CELEBRATES NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK
Local Tourism Economic Impact Shared and Key Contributors Recognized
May 6, 2011 (Charlottesville, Va) - Joining more than 50 cities nationwide that champion travel as a revenue generator and job provider, the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB), will celebrate and recognize contributions to the local travel and tourism industry, as part of the 28th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, by holding an Awards Ceremony and Celebration on Tuesday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m., at King Family Vineyards.
"Travel and tourism supports 14 million jobs across the nation, including 4,790 right here in Charlottesville and Albemarle County," said Kurt Burkhart, CACVB Executive Director. "We are excited to celebrate everyone whose jobs help to support tourism in our community as well as give special recognition to those who have made an outstanding contribution at Tuesday evening's ceremony."
Travel and tourism is a $412 million industry for Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, according to 2009 figures released by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) on the Economic Impact of Tourism. The direct spending by travelers supported 4,790 jobs, which generated over $84 million in wages and salaries. Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and taxi workers. But it further supports workers in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance.
"Travel is a force in America's economy that is simply too important to ignore. It's responsible for employing one out of every nine Americans, more people than other giants like the insurance or automotive industries," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry.
Travel and tourism generated $1.8 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2010. The industry also represents one of America's largest employers, supporting 14.1 million jobs (including 7.4 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in other industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $24,000 a second.CACVB was directly responsible for the booking of over 3,000 room nights at area properties last fiscal year (June 30, 2009 - July 1, 2010). Rooms' averaged rate was $103.12 per night. Additional expenditures for meals, gas and activities such as shopping or admission to tour UNESCO World Heritage site, Monticello or Ash Lawn-Highland among other things are estimated to generate an additional expenditure of $256 per visit.
In total, CACVB returns $7 to every $1 invested in its budget, which is funded by the transient occupancy or lodging tax. Of the over $4 million generated through transient occupancy or lodging tax, three percent (3%) of up to five percent (tax in Albemarle County is 5%; 6% in Charlottesville City) of the lodging tax is returned to the Visitors Bureau for its future budget. The remaining funds are appropriated to the municipality's respective general funds to improve the quality of life for local residents.
Helping book rooms is just a portion of the activities that come out of the CACVB offices. As the official destination marketing organization for the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, the visitor center welcomed 36,285 people, responded to 1,691 email inquiries and worked with 70 clients for group tours or meeting needs. To further awareness of the destination, staff assisted 82 travel media, and hosted 36 visiting journalists to the area. Online, 134,472 absolute unique visitors went to the tourism website for information.
The U.S. Travel Association projects nearly 2 billion Americans will take a domestic trip this year, up about 2 percent over last year. International arrivals are expected to total 63 million in 2011, a 6 percent increase over 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
National Travel & Tourism Week
According to the U.S. Travel Association, the first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. National Tourism Week was established 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."
In addition to serving as the global resource for marketing the tourism assets of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, through www.visitcharlottesville.org, the CVB assists tour operators, meeting planners, reunions and other groups in planning visits to the destination. CACVB's mission is "to enhance the economic prosperity of City and County by promoting, selling and marketing the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle, as a destination, in pursuit of the meetings and tourism markets." CACVB operates the Downtown Visitor Center (610 E Main St) which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a satellite Visitor Center in the Albemarle County Office Building (401 McIntire Rd) which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, as well as a touch-screen kiosk at Monticello's Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center.