New numbers coincide with President Obama’s announcement of national strategy on travel and tourism
The best annual hotel occupancy since 2007, 24 straight months of occupancy gains and the most annual rooms sold since 2007 (7,141,608)*. These numbers are only a few of the increases Charlotte has experienced in the hospitality industry over the last several years.
“The trends we are seeing are surpassing each other month over month,” said Mike Applegate, research director for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. “This not only increases economic impact for the area, but also gives greater security for the more than 41,000 jobs in the hospitality industry.”
Connected to our industry numbers is an announcement made last week by President Obama regarding a national strategy on travel and tourism to boost travel to and within the United States.
The President is embracing the power of travel and his remarks suggest a newfound appreciation for several key points:
- Every 35 international visitors to the United States generate one American job that cannot be outsourced.
- We need to reestablish the United States as the world's travel destination. Our country owns just 12 percent of the global travel market – down from 17 percent a decade ago.
- The travel experience is littered with hassles that can be eliminated. Improving the air travel experience, for example, can add $85 billion in air traveler spending, which will support 900,000 jobs.
- Making it easier for people to attend business meetings, tradeshows and conventions boosts our economy by $263 billion annually and supports 1.7 million American jobs.
A plan is necessary before improvement is possible. The travel industry provides jobs for 14 million Americans and generates more than $50 billion in tax revenues for states and local communities. Travel can drive the economic recovery and put millions of Americans back to work. The president has put forward his vision and the travel industry is ready to heed the call.
“The Charlotte area is poised to welcome individual visitors, meeting attendees and group tours more now than ever before,” said CRVA CEO Tom Murray. “Not only has the Democratic National Convention given us expanded coverage, but the vast variety of quality assets makes for a very desirable destination for visitors.”
*Sources: CRVA, Smith Travel Research and U.S. Travel Association