SALT LAKE CITY (April 30, 2015) – In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, typically recognized annually the first full week of May, Visit Salt Lake (VSL) is working together in partnership with TreeUtah and hospitality partners from across Salt Lake County in a 'Day of Service' on Tuesday, May 5. The effort highlights the 32nd annual National Travel and Tourism Week, organized by the U.S. Travel Association, which communities across America celebrate each year to shine a light on what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. It’s also in keeping with VSL’s strong commitment to sustainability and stewardship of our beautiful natural environment, keeping our open spaces vibrant for locals and visitors. 

“This week, we are celebrating what travel means to our community,” said Scott Beck, president/CEO of VSL. “The numbers are pretty awe-inspiring. Tourism and travel supports more than 130,000 jobs here in Utah, and added a record $7.5 billion into Utah’s economy in 2013, generating over $1 billion in state and local tax revenue.”

Across Utah, travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees, to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports industry sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance. 

According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy and supports 15 million American jobs. Travel contributes more than $134 billion to the federal, state and local tax base, and generated $141.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2014.

Travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being. A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found that Americans left 429 million vacation days unused (the most in nearly 40 years) and forfeited $52.4 billion in time-off benefits. If workers took just one more day off each year, travel would generate an additional $73 billion annually to the economy. “Travel contributes to the fabric of America and continues to do wonders for our businesses and personal lives,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the travel industry in the U.S. “This weeklong celebration should extend to every day of the week to further strengthen our dynamic industry.”

* Media welcome to attend. Best time is between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Directions: From Murray Holladay Road, turn north on 1590 East, then continue to the parking lot. Call Karen Boe for details and directions (801-230-5404).

** Utah Tourism Facts courtesy of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah.

Visit Salt Lake is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. In partnership with Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake improves the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors with a strong commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the area’s natural environment. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan and mountain; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace the Salt Lake Valley offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of the urban environment.