As communities across the nation celebrate the contributions of travel and tourism to our country this week during National Tourism Week, we would like to take the opportunity to recognize the economic, social, and cultural value of tourism in our own backyard. The fact is…tourism is vital to Dublin, Ohio. Every year, visitors generate tens of millions of dollars to Dublin’s economy. They come to Dublin for business, athletic tournaments, special events, conferences, reunions, weddings and vacations. These visitors spend money in our hotels, restaurants, shops, gas stations and at our attractions.

So how do visitors to Dublin directly impact local residents? Visitors pay a local bed tax on the cost of their lodging that goes directly to support a variety of organizations and activities in Dublin – the Dublin Irish Festival, Independence Day and St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, Spooktacular, lights and other facilities at Avery Park and Darree Fields, Dublin Soccer League soccer goals, various events in Historic Dublin and the Dublin Arts Council and its programs.

But, local bed tax revenue is only a small portion of the overall visitor benefit. For example, Dublin will host the annual Memorial Golf Tournament in a few weeks, which will bring an economic impact of $36.5 million to our economy – and that is just one event over a one-week period. Nationally, travel and tourism is a $1.9 trillion industry and is one of the country's largest employers with 14.4 million direct travel-generated jobs. Travel and tourism also generates $124 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal government. In fact, each U.S. household would pay $1,055 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry. Although tourism impacts the success of our overall economy, it also ensures our quality of life because it influences every business and affects almost every aspect of our daily lives. This industry is diverse and wide-ranging, from obvious segments, such as airlines, airports, rental cars, hotels, and travel agents, to the countless businesses found within our community, such as restaurants, museums, zoos and amusement parks. From entry-level employees to top-level executives, tourism-related jobs in the United States can be found in countless fields that benefit all communities.

National Tourism Week is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the value of tourism in Dublin. Please join us in celebrating tourism’s contributions to our community.

~Scott Dring is the Executive Director of the Dublin Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau.