Friday, May 1, 2020 - 04:42 pm

Travel and Tourism can be an economic engine that helps drive North Dakota out of the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry needs to make sure it is positioned to welcome back travelers when the "Spirit of Travel" turns from planning to action. 

That is the message of National Travel and Tourism Week to be held May 3-9, 2020. It's an opportunity to collectively shine the spotlight on the importance of the travel industry to North Dakota's economic well-being.

In North Dakota, we are celebrating the week by recognizing those people who represent the "Spirit of Travel.” We invite you to "Meet my ND," and the people behind the travel and tourism industry in North Dakota.

“The travel and tourism industry was dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman said. “National Travel and Tourism Week is timely this year as we work to share the importance of the travel and tourism industry and begin preparations for when travelers are back on the road.”

North Dakota Travel and Tourism Week is held in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), an annual salute to the tourism and travel industry. This year, perhaps more than ever, the impact of declines in travel and tourism are being felt worldwide.

The Impact of Travel and Tourism in North Dakota:

  • Tourism is North Dakota’s third-largest industry and vital to our diversified economy. (NDSU)
  • 22.6 million people visited North Dakota in 2018. (Tourism Economics)
  • North Dakota travel generated $300.5 million in taxes, offsetting an equivalent of $1,092 per household. (Tourism Economics)
  • Visitor spending totaled $3 billion in 2018. The majority of expenditures, 68 percent, were by visitors from other U.S. states. International travelers made up 9 percent of the total, and in-state residents traveling to other parts of North Dakota accounted for 23 percent of spending. (Tourism Economics)
  • Canadian travelers are important to North Dakota. In 2019, 566,274 passenger vehicles entered North Dakota from Canadian provinces.
  • Tourism is North Dakota’s fifth-largest employer supporting 45,640 jobs. (Tourism Economics)
  • Approximately $1.3 billion in wages and salaries were sustained through visitor spending in North Dakota. (Tourism Economics)

Travel is one of America’s largest industries
Source: U.S. Travel Association

  • Travel is a $2.6 trillion industry in the U.S.
  • Visitors support 15.8 million American jobs – roughly 9 million direct travel jobs, and 6.8 million indirect and induced jobs.
  • Travel-related spending generated $180 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue in 2019.