The first full week of May is National Travel and Tourism Week. Simply put, the annual celebration gives us the opportunity to recognize the important role travel plays in our lives and our state.
Travel has a profound impact on our lives and our economy. It grows businesses and provides opportunity. It reinvents and reinvigorates the economy.
Taking a vacation, even just a weekend getaway, improves your well-being, reduces your stress levels, makes you happier and enhances your relationships, according to new research.
A poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the U.S. Travel Association found that traveling together as a family strengthens bonds and creates a lifetime of memories. Children surveyed reported that they get to see and do things on vacation that they’ll remember for a long time (64 percent) and that vacations bring their family closer together (53 percent).
More than half of the youth surveyed said they don’t often spend quality time with their parents at home, but that family vacations make up for that shortage. Ninety percent of the children said memorable things happen on family vacations, and roughly nine in 10 said that some of their best memories are from family vacations.
Children also treasure traveling with grandparents. More than half of the children questioned reported feeling closer to their grandparents after a family vacation together and 65 percent said they enjoy remembering stories about those vacations.
Finally and interestingly, the children said that what they do on vacation is more important than where they go or where they stay. They enjoy trying new things and doing activities as a family.
Don’t despair if you have no children or grandchildren to travel with. Travel offers tremendous benefits to couples as well. Couples that travel together are more likely to feel close to their partners, according to new data collected by Edge Research. More than 70 percent say travel inspires romance, creating time to talk and reconnect, while nearly nine in 10 say traveling is important for getting a break from their day-to-day routines.
Studies also show that employees who take vacations experience less work-related stress, burnout and exhaustion and miss work less often.
So, now that you’re surely convinced you need a vacation, plan to explore Nebraska because local investment provides local return.
Nationally, travel has a significant impact on the economy, generating $1.9 trillion in economic output in 2011. In fact, each U.S. household would pay $1,060 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by travel and tourism.
In Nebraska, tourism is the state’s third largest earner of revenue after agriculture and manufacturing. In 2012 the total direct travel spending was $3.1 billion. Increasing visits brings more traveler spending to local communities, increases local job creation and generates additional tax revenues.
Now that you know travel in Nebraska is a catalyst that moves the state’s economy forward, you’re ready to plan your Nebraska vacation.
Start by going to VisitNebraska.com and ordering, or downloading, the 2013 Nebraska Travel Guide. On our website, you can find vacation packages, golf getaways and road trip itineraries. Or plan your own adventure using our handy travel planner to plot your route.
National Travel and Tourism Week also kicks off the 2013 Nebraska Passport program, which offers a fun and easy way to explore the state. Plus, participants can earn prizes just by traveling.
The Passport program features 80 stops on 10 themed tours, so you can plan your travels according to your interests, whether you like history, art, outdoor recreation, Western culture or local shops. Or you may prefer to explore a specific area of the state, collecting stamps from various tours. A list of tours and stops can be found at NebraskaPassport.com, and you can pick up a Passport at the participating sites.
Regardless of how you plan your Passport adventures, you have from May until September to visit attractions and collect stamps for prizes. For each completed tour, participants win a Nebraska Passport T-shirt. Travelers also can receive 20 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons in celebration of the Nebraska Lottery’s 20th anniversary (for 20 stamps) and a digital camera (for 40 stamps).
A grand-prize drawing for an iPad mini will be held in October. Participants are entered in the drawing once at each prize level and once for more for sharing their story at NebraskaPassport.com. An additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in passports with at least one stamp.
So for your own well-being and the health of state’s economy, get out and get to know Nebraska this summer.
More information about the benefits of travel for families, couples, businesses and the economy can be found at www.traveleffect.com.