Marion County Celebrates the Power of Travel During Nat'l Tourism Week
The Marion County Board of County Commissioners presented a proclamation today recognizing May 2 – 8, 2021 as National Travel and Tourism Week.
National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) encourages local communities and travelers to celebrate the value tourism holds for the economy. This year’s NTTW theme, The Power of Travel, focuses on the tourism industry’s vital role in recovery on a local, state and national level.
“Tourism has a massive impact on our community,” said Marion County Commission Chairman Jeff Gold, “bringing in millions of dollars in economic stimulus through jobs and visitor spending. Now that millions of Americans are planning on traveling again, tourism is as important as ever in supporting Marion County’s local businesses and getting us back to normal.”
“Just one tourist or family visiting Ocala/Marion County may stay at a hotel, eat at one of our restaurants, buy gas, shop and patronize attractions, all of which creates great economic prosperity for our entire community …that is the power of travel. But National Travel and Tourism Week is not just about the great economic impact of travel—it is also about the positive effect of a vacation for families and bringing people together,” said Loretta Shaffer Tourist Development Director for the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
In the summer of 2020, with the leadership of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and the Tourist Development Council, the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau (OMCVCB) launched tourism industry recovery efforts to address the negative economic impact of the pandemic.
In addition to reaching potential future visitors, the OMCVCB supported local businesses with the in-market slogan Tourism is Everyone’s Business – Getting Out is Giving Back. The purpose of this campaign reminded the local community that, without the continued support of businesses struggling during the pandemic, tourism would have a harder recovery. This year, National Travel and Tourism Week serves to further support the essential role travel plays in supporting local business.
In celebration of this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week, the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau is encouraging residents to get out and be a tourist in their own community. Residents who capture their local adventures are asked to post highlights on social media and use #OcalaMarionStaycation for a chance to be featured and play a role in helping to bring visitors to our destination.
For Ocala/Marion County, tourism is big business as it has an overall economic impact of several hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Each year, more than a million visitors travel throughout the area, helping fuel an industry that supports thousands of jobs and saves each Marion County resident hundreds of dollars in taxes.