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travel and tourism 16It’s the best week of the year – National Travel and Tourism Week! Every year, tourism professionals use this week to show off how awesome tourism is and the effect it has on our economy. According to opens in a new, “Direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $650.8 billion in 2015.” In the US, 15.1 MILLION jobs are supported by travel expenditures – that’s 1 out of 9 jobs that depend on travel and tourism. Seems like a good enough reason to celebrate to us!

This week, get out and experience tourism for yourself; you can be a tourist right here in Columbia, whether you live here or not! Visit the locations on the form below for a chance to win great prizes AND get to know Columbia. You can pick up a copy at the CVB (on the corner of Providence and Elm), print the form below, or email Rachel at opens in a new windowRachel.Grant@CoMo.govcreate new email if you’d like a copy emailed to you. Once you have visited as many of the locations as you like, you can submit the form in person to our office or by email to Info@CoMo.govcreate new email.

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Want to know how tourism impacts Missouri and Boone County? Take a look at the 2015 numbers:

  • Total visitors to Missouri: 40.4 million
  • Total economic impact of Missouri tourism industry: $15.9 billion
  • Number of Missourians directly employed by tourism businesses: 297,129
  • Tourism-related employment: 11,404
  • Total tourism-related expenditures: $395,907,381

For more information:

Missouri Division of Tourism opens in a new windowResearch and Reports

opens in a new windowUS Travel Association:

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Therapeutic.  Adventure. Freedom. Jobs.

This year, to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, our industry is using the theme “Travel is ___” to highlight why tourism is vital to our economy and what it means to different people and communities.

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Travel can be anything to you – family time, a chance to get away, a way of life, and, possibly most important, 15 MILLION U.S. jobs. The opens in a new windowU.S. Travel Association says, “travel to and within the United States provides significant economic benefits for the nation, generating more than $2.1 trillion in economic output in 2014, with $927.9 billion spent directly by travelers.” That’s a lot of zeros.

Travel is essential to the U.S. economy, and it’s no different here in Columbia. In 2014, Boone County’s total tourism-related expenditures came out to over $368 million and tourism-related employment was over 11,000. What does that mean? Well, it means travel is a big deal.

This week, we’d like to know what travel is to YOU! DSC00663editopens IMAGE file

Come by the Convention and Visitors Bureau and fill out a card to share what travel is to you. There are also cards ready to be filled out at the visitor center in the City Hall lobby and the airport. Take a look at what we have so far. (Parks and Recreation Director, Mike Griggs, stopped by and added to the wall – can you guess which one?)

If you can’t stop by, we’d still love to know what travel means to you: tweet us at opens in a new window@ColumbiaMOCVB or tag us on Instagram opens in a new window@VisitColumbiaMO, and use the hashtag #NTTW2015.

Let’s do more than celebrate – let’s show everyone why travel is important to us and our communities. And in case you needed an excuse for a weekend getaway… well, it IS National Travel and Tourism Week.

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When you’re planning your trip to Columbia, there are lots of things you might do to get ready. Reserve a hotel room, make a packing list, get someone to watch the cat. You also check out this blog or our website to decide where you want to eat, what shops you want to visit or which art galleries you want to explore.

There are many ways to connect with Columbia before, during and after your visit. From to comfort of your own home to being on the go, we’re here to show you how amazing Columbia is and to answer any questions you might have. So come hang out with us! Here’s how:

opens in a new windowFacebook: Connect with other Columbia fans, post pictures and ask questions.

opens in a new windowTwitter: Updates on events, attractions, restaurants and more…all in 140 characters or less.

Email: Need some expert help from a Columbia staffer? Email us at info (at) gocolumbiamo (dot) com.

opens in a new windowPinterest: Our beautifully curated boards will give you a taste of the Columbia experience before you even arrive.

opens in a new windowE-newsletters: Get our general newsletter every month or take it a step further and tell us what your interests are, and you’ll be on the list for anything from shopping to sports.

opens in a new windowRequest a Visitor Guide: A handy reference while you’re planning or while you’re exploring.

Phone: We love talking to visitors! Give us a call at 1.800.652.0987

When planning your trip, we hope you’ll pick one or two of these methods to connect with us. We love having you here!

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We’ll be honest…this isn’t your usual blog post.  Here in Columbia we’re very lucky…we get to talk about delicious dining, super shopping and fantastic festivals. Of course, what some people don’t think about is that all of these fun things come together to create one big industry. The Travel and Tourism Industry. When it comes down to it, Tourism means business.

Each year, the industry takes one week (hint: it’s this week!) to celebrate the people who make our destinations shine each and every day and the economic impact travel has on the country.

Nationally speaking, travel has a ginormous (yes, ginormous!) impact. In 2010, $1.8 trillion (that’s a lot of zeros) was generated by domestic and international visitors to the United States. Travel expenditures also supported 14 million jobs across the country, with 1 out of 9 U.S. jobs depended on travel and tourism. Pretty important, right?

Here in Columbia, travel and tourism is just as important. In 2011, tourists spend nearly $322 million in Boone County and tourism-related employment was at almost 10,000 people!

Of course numbers are great, but it all comes down to people who make the industry great. So thank you to our tourism partners; our local hoteliers, restauranteurs, airport workers, taxi drivers, football game ushers and everyone else who puts on a smile and welcomes people to our amazing city.

And, of course, a huge thanks to YOU for visiting.

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