Press Room

Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County are the Power of Travel

National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-8) spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry.

LEXINGTON, Va. (May 3, 2021) - This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and its dynamic workforce.

The 38th annual NTTW, taking place May 2-8, recognizes the Power of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America.

Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. The industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.

Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hardworking Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment. Here in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County, 2019 visitor spending reached $185.9 million, supported 1,408 tourism-supported jobs, and resulted in $4.5 million in local tourism-related taxes.

However, Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County, Virginia —and the travel industry—is resilient.

While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, our industry united like never before, lifted each other up, aided one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of supporting and restoring all sectors of travel. This year’s NTTW is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in our industry’s story and celebrate its collective power by spotlighting the innumerable ways travel will drive recovery, bring Americans together again and help define our country’s path forward.

Rockbridge Regional Tourism is participating in NTTW by hosting a National Travel & Tourism Week Open House Monday, May 3 through Friday, May 7 at the Lexington Visitor Center. From 11 a.m to 3 p.m., the public is welcome to join us for treats and prizes, and to pick up their own copy of the limited edition 2021 Virginia Travel Guide featuring Natural Bridge State Park on the cover. In addition, a Fundraiser Lunch will be held Wednesday, May 5 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Proceeds from the boxed lunches benefit Independence Week events.

From the shopping, dining, and historic attractions of downtown Lexington to the breweries, wineries, family fun, and great outdoors of Rockbridge County, our area’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Rockbridge Regional Tourism, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County—this NTTW.

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