Powering the Economy | Connecting America 

Eugene, Or — National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation.

“Visitors are important to Lane County’s economy and to our quality of life, supporting our beloved restaurants, cultural venues and artists and helping ensure we have a diverse array of tasting rooms and shopping options," noted Kari Westlund, President/CEO of Travel Lane County. “Visitors also reflect the magic of where we live, from our incredible waterfalls and coastal sand dunes to the magic of Hayward Field, which is great for our civic pride and self-esteem. Travel Lane County is proud to draw visitors that benefit our communities and share our love for this special place.”

Established in 1983, NTTW is an annual tradition that recognizes the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day.

NTTW celebrates the industry’s critical role in powering our nation’s economy, communities and connections. Travel is a $2.8 trillion industry that supports nearly 15 million American jobs while fueling other important industries like manufacturing, health care and agriculture—all which depend on travel to generate business, spur innovation and support education.

Nested within the overall travel and tourism economy is sports tourism. Sports ETA, the trade association for the sports events and tourism industry, recently released its highly anticipated annual State of the Industry Report for 2023. The report underscores the strength of the sports tourism sector, showcasing a direct spending impact of $52.2 billion, which generated a total economic impact of $128 billion. This monumental contribution supported 757,600 full-time and part-time jobs and contributed $20.1 billion in taxes to various sectors of the economy. Sixty-three percent of the respondents to a 2023 travel study for the sports sector said youth and amateur sporting events were their top generator of room nights.

The travel industry is essential to America’s success—it is an economic powerhouse that unites people, benefits society and is paramount to the United States’ global competitiveness. It’s important to continue to grow this vital sector of the U.S. economy and our industry continues to work to elevate the perceived value of the industry among policymakers, opinion leaders and business leaders.

In Lane County, the travel industry drives over $1 billion in economic impact and employs more than 11,000 of our friends and neighbors. On May 17, 2024, Travel Lane County hosted its annual Visitor Industry Celebration and Summit where area individuals, businesses and organizations were honored for providing great experiences to visitors and residents. Congratulations to all the recipients.

2024 Award Recipients

Community Leadership – Cathryn Stephens, Eugene Airport

Destination – City of Springfield and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

Stewardship – Endless Mileage Project

Sports Leadership – Emerald Valley BMX

Convention Leadership – Mobility International USA