This year marks the 40th anniversary of the annual industry celebration.

LAWRENCE, KS –  National Travel and Tourism Week, (NTTW), the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation through the theme #TravelForward.

“The travel industry fuels every industry—our industry’s success is the nation’s success,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “This week is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward.”

Established in 1983, NTTW is an annual tradition to mark the U.S. travel industry’s role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, stimulating business activity, and elevating the quality of life for everyday Americans.

Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries. The U.S. travel industry generated a $2.6 trillion economic output in 2022 and supported 15 million jobs, fueling communities, small businesses, and working families nationwide.

In Douglas County, visitor spending registered $245 in 2021 as attractions and events reopened and restarted. This economic activity supported 3,260 jobs, earning those job-holders $100 million in income. State and local governmental revenues increased by nearly $5 million to reach $26 million flowing to governments from visitor activity in Douglas County in 2021.

eXplore Lawrence is recognizing travel’s essential contributions by:

  • Showing appreciation to Lawrence’s hotel and attraction workforce by delivering buckets of treats and fun
  • Mayor’s Proclamation recognizing May 7-13 as National Travel & Tourism Week in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Social media posts highlighting the importance of tourism to the local economy

Said Kim Anpsach, eXplore Lawrence Executive Director: “Travel is at the heart of Lawrence's history and present, powering a strong economy, creating jobs, and strengthening our community's culture and identity. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we are proud to celebrate all that travel does for our community now and all that it will contribute in the future."

To reflect on the #TravelForward theme, eXplore Lawrence encourages everyone to visit Roadside Inappropriation, an exhibit exploring identity as portrayed in America’s roadside culture. Three artists, Erika Nelson, Mona Cliff, and Armando Minjarez tackle the topic on May 9 and 10, from noon to 8:00 PM, at TeePee Junction at the US 24/40 intersection in North Lawrence.


About eXplore Lawrence

eXplore Lawrence represents travel and tourism in Lawrence and Douglas County. We are dedicated to creating economic development by attracting visitors, events, and conventions to our city.