Natchitoches, La. – National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight resilience and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic with this year’s theme: the Spirit of Travel from Sunday, May 3 to Saturday, May 9, 2020.
Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 37th NTTW (May 3-9) arrives at an opportune moment to unite the industry, celebrate its indomitable spirit and elevate the role it will play in America’s economic recovery.
“Through every hardship, I find myself in awe of the travel industry’s ability to join together, adapt, and emerge stronger than before,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “This is our toughest challenge yet, but what I’ve seen is that the spirit of travel has not been shattered.”
Since in-person rallies and events that have been hallmarks of NTTW in years past are not an option this year, Natchitoches is engaging locals and visitors through social media.
“There’s no doubt this has been an incredibly challenging time for tourism, but we see National Travel and Tourism Week as an opportunity to remind our visitors and our residents of the incredible spirit and resiliency of the travel industry and our workforce,” said Arlene Gould, Executive Director of the Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s only a matter of time before we all get moving again, and Natchitoches will be more ready than ever to welcome travelers with open arms.”
Natchitoches has many things to celebrate this year, even with this unprecedented time in history. In April 2020, Natchitoches was again named one of the South’s Best Small Towns by Southern Living Magazine. This is the town’s third year in a row to be named in the South’s Best list.
“This is an incredible honor to receive for the third year in a row,” said Gould. “Southern Living is a Southern staple and to be recognized by the publication is a great accolade that we cherish.”
The year 2019 was a very successful year for tourism in Natchitoches. The hotel/motel tax collections for 2019 were $422,764.64, a 4.6% increase over the collections from 2018. The Natchitoches Visitor Center welcomed more than 11,000 guests from 42 states and 46 countries. In 2019, tourism put 1,370 people to work in Natchitoches Parish, representing $36 million in worker paychecks.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau worked with 275 groups in 2019 which accounted for 43,805 individual travelers. This represents an economic impact on our community of $6.9 million. Additionally, the CVB worked with 28 travel writers and media requests during the year, and saw a public relations value of $3.01 million on articles and news stories that ran as a result.
To learn more about Natchitoches’ efforts during National Travel & Tourism Week, follow the Natchitoches Tourism social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.