From Shaky Past to Stable Future: Tourism Drives Economic Growth
Five years ago, our economy experienced one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression. In the years since, markets and industries have struggled to rebound, and only recently have we seen growing stability across the board. However, throughout this economic uncertainty, the tourism industry has remained a dependable driver of economic development at both a regional and national level.
The U.S. Travel Association has highlighted the dependability of tourism as a source of economic growth in their annual "Power of Travel Promotion" report. Aimed at educating legislators and policymakers on the benefits of investing in the tourism industry, the study uses economic data, expert analysis and case studies to reveal the economic impact of tourism.
The findings of the report demonstrate that tourism has a wide range of positive effects including:
- The strengthening of economic vitality - Strategic investments in tourism and travel promotion can initiate a healthy cycle of increased traveler visits, greater visitor spending in local communities, faster job creation and higher tax revenues that surpass the value of initial investments.
- The building of a strong tax base - In 2012, travel generated $129 billion in tax revenue to government at all levels. Of that revenue, $58.4 billion fueled state and local governments- enough to pay the wages of every firefighter and police officer in the country.
- A high return on investment that extends beyond tourism - The benefits that result from increased investment in travel promotion include improving residents' quality of life, attracting business investment and spurring economic development. Case studies in the report underscore these benefits and demonstrate the serious consequences of cutting tourism support to communities of all sizes.
These finding are the result of a national study, but they apply on all levels-statewide, regionally and in our own community. We hope this furthers your own understanding, and we encourage you to visit the Visit Vancouver website to learn more about the ways your Tourism Office is helping invest in a stable future for our community.
Eric Walters Kim Bennett
Board Chair, GM Hilton Vancouver President & CEO, Regional Tourism Office