Travel and tourism professionals from across the nation celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week to promote the impactful contributions their travel markets and organizations make to the U.S. economy.  National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13) unites communities each year to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

“Just look at the numbers. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including nearly 200 jobs right here in Mitchell County,” said Patti Jensen, Executive Director, Mitchell County Chamber. “This week, we are celebrating what travel means to our community, and we call on everyone—from elected officials to local residents—to join us in saluting this important industry.”

The best way that Mitchell County residents can help our local small businesses during the tourism season is to be great ambassadors to our guests.  “Recent research during the development of our county marketing plan revealed that what travelers notice most about our county is not only its beauty, but its people.  So many of those surveyed responded that the friendliness of the people in Mitchell County was what made their trip to our area so enjoyable,” said Jensen.   “We encourage all Mitchell County residents to support our local tourism businesses, help travelers with directions and tell them about your favorite spot in Mitchell County whether it’s a beautiful mountain overlook , a favorite hiking trail, or your recommendation for your favorite local restaurant.”

Across Mitchell County travel employs a diverse workforce from hotel employees, to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance. “Tourism impacts not only the businesses we think about like gem mining but also small businesses like gas stations, retail stores, and even plumbers and construction workers who do work for hotels, cabins and second homes.,” said Jensen.

Some of the numbers:

  • Nearly 200 directly related jobs are supported by travel and tourism in Mitchell County.
  • Travel and tourism generates $980,000 in local tax revenue each year (2015)
  • Mitchell County has over $22 million dollars in tourism expenditures spent here each year by visitors to the area.(2015)
  • Tourism revenues save every Mitchell County resident nearly $127 on their taxes each year.

The Mitchell County Chamber will be celebrating National Tourism Week with their annual Tourism Luncheon on Wednesday, May 10th with guest speaker Mark Shore, Marketing Director for the NC Division of Tourism in addition to daily social media posts highlighting tourism in Mitchell County.

As we begin our tourism season, let’s extend our gracious hospitality to all of our visitors and make them feel welcome when they come to enjoy our beautiful area.