Travel promotion is one of the best investments a city, state or country can make, according to David Huether, senior vice president of research for U.S. Travel who commented on a new, updated version of U.S. Travel's “Power of Travel Promotion” report. "The resulting increase in tourism to an area improves local quality of life, boosts economic development and delivers much needed tax revenues to fund essential services and revitalize communities," Huether said.
The report - including case studies - is part of U.S. Travel’s ongoing effort to help travel organizations make the case for why travel matters. "Over the past few decades, one of the clearest, most compelling facts that has emerged is that travel promotion represents one of the best investments a state or city can make. States and cities that treat travel promotion budgets like strategic investments will be rewarded with more visitors, more jobs and higher tax revenues," U.S. Travel said.
Key extracts from the study that gains special significance in the face of state and local efforts to impose travel taxes, include:
"During an era when tight budgets have become the “new normal” in state capitals and city halls across America, the pressure to cut even critical programs is often intense. Legislators and other policymakers need to be armed with the facts when making tough decisions about budget priorities. Over the past few decades, one of the clearest, most compelling facts that has emerged is that travel promotion represents one of the best investments a state or city can make," the report says.
"Travel and tourism is a cash-generating machine for state and local governments. In 2012, travel generated $129 billion in tax revenue to government at all levels and $58.4 billion to state and local governments – enough to pay the wages of every firefighter and police officer in the country."
"Wise strategic investments in travel promotion by destinations kick off a virtuous cycle of increased traveler visits, greater traveler spending in local communities, faster job creation and higher tax revenues that far surpass the initial investment."
"Like other valuable brands, travel destinations require consistent engagement and investment. States and cities that fail to invest will quickly lose market share to competitors that can take years to recover, while those that invest strategically to build brand appeal generate a strong return on investment,"
Among the reports conclusions is that in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the travel industry "has stepped forward as one of the key drivers of the American economy, a leading employer in communities across the U.S., and a highly efficient, proven revenue generator for state and local governments. States and cities that treat travel promotion budgets like strategic investments will be rewarded with more visitors, more jobs and higher tax revenues."