Florida Adventure CoastBROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA – During the week of May 1-7, Florida’s Adventure Coast Brooksville – Weeki Wachee joins hundreds of cities, states and travel-related businesses nationwide to recognize National Travel & Tourism Week.  Designated by Congress and founded by presidential declaration in 1983, the week highlights the value and impact of the travel industry.  Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau plans a Tourism Summit May 3rd to commemorate the occasion.

Tourism touches our community in countless ways. Hotels and meeting facilities, attractions, shops, restaurants, recreational facilities and outfitters, transportation and other service providers are among the local businesses affected by visitors to Florida’s Adventure Coast. During the week of May 1-7, the nation celebrates not only the people who visit, but the workforce that provides services for them and the local benefits created as a result. In 2015, Florida welcomed 105 million visitors who spent $89.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.2 million Floridians, making tourism the No. 1 industry in the Sunshine State.

In celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week, Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau will stage a Tourism Summit on Travel Rally Day, May 3. The Adventure Coast Tourism Summit, like Rally Day celebrations around the country, spotlights the industry on a local community level. “Wear Red for Travel” to show support and raise awareness of travel’s impact and importance.

“Travel and tourism supports 15-million jobs across the nation, including thousands right here in our county,” said Tammy Heon, Manager of Tourism Development. “Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from hospitality and attractions employees to workers in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance. The Tourism Summit also celebrates our re-branding as Florida’s Adventure Coast Brooksville – Weeki Wachee. We’ll be sharing our new maps and more exciting materials to provide every possible advantage to our visitors and businesses.”

“The Tourism Development budget is derived solely from the 5% local option tax, more widely known as the ‘tourist tax,’ paid by visitors staying at local hotels and motels, vacation rentals and campgrounds,” noted Heon.

Nationally, tourism generated $2.1 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2015. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers, supporting 15 million jobs, including 8.0 million directly in the travel industry and 7.0 million in other industries. Direct travel expenditures by domestic and international travelers averaged $927.9 billion, which spurred an additional $1.2 trillion in other industries. One out of nine U.S. jobs depend on travel and tourism.

Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau staff invites tourism and hospitality partners to attend the Tourism Summit on May 3rd from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The program features a dynamic speaker line-up of industry experts. Attendees will get updates on tourism-related news and projects and learn about partner benefits such as advertising, social media, customer service training and more. The event is free and lunch will be provided, but RVSP is required. The Tourism Summit will be held at the Hernando Mining Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. (off US-41), Brooksville, FL 34601. To RSVP, or for additional information, call the Visitors Bureau, 352-754-4405 or email kpoppke@FloridasAdventureCoast.com.

Tammy Heon