Why Alaska is "Voting Travel" in 2016

As the 2016 presidential election season progresses, heated debates will ensue from cable news to the kitchen table. While partisan politics may get divisive, there’s one thing that anyone—blue, red or purple—can get behind this year: the power of travel in America.

That’s why, as part of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2016, May 1-7, our industry is campaigning for travel, and encouraging everyone to join us in supporting “Travel ’16.”

Figuratively speaking, travel is the perfect presidential candidate: it’s a job creator, it’s pro-family and it’s good for our health. Here’s why: the $2.1 trillion travel industry supports one in nine American jobs—research even demonstrates that 2016 election-related travel is already a boon for local economies, especially in states with presidential primaries. The travel industry provides good jobs in every single Congressional district in the country, and is in fact one of the top 10 employers in almost all 50 states. Americans save an average of $1,147 amount in taxes each year because of travel-related tax revenue in their communities.

Travel also greatly benefits our relationships, families and children. Kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college, and earn more as adults. And it’s good for our well-being—numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. That’s a platform anyone can support!

In light of these extraordinary returns, Alaska is rooting for “Travel ‘16” this NTTW, to make sure our elected leaders seek avenues to expand and support travel right here in our community.

Right here in Alaska, the tourism industry:

Supports 1 in 11 jobs. That’s 46,000 jobs!
– Generates $3.9 billion in economic activity for Alaska
– Contributes $78 million in visitor fees to city/borough budgets and over $100 million in visitor fees to the State Budget

We encourage you to join us in our NTTW celebration. Here are a few ways to get involved:

Join our rally event on Tuesday, May 3 at the southwest corner of Benson and New Seward Highway from 7:30am – 9:00am.
– Contact your member of Congress
about why travel is important to Alaska.
– Get social and engage with the #NTTW16 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more great ideas and resources, check out this toolkit from the U.S. Travel Association.

This year’s NTTW is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a “primary” driver in the U.S. economy and an important part of our daily lives.