It is National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-13, 2012 and the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) celebrates this week by reminding locals and visitors of the importance of travel.

In Central Iowa, visitors generated $1.63 billion in expenditures in Polk and Dallas Counties in 2010 according to the U.S. Travel Association’s study on the Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties. This total is one quarter, 25%, of the State of Iowa’s total generated visitor expenditures of $6.5 billion.

“Travel and tourism supports 14.4 million jobs across the nation, including 16,000 jobs in Polk and Dallas Counties,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the GDMCVB.

In Fiscal Year 2010-2011, the GDMCVB booked more than 346,000 hotel rooms, creating an economic impact exceeding $90 million. The region saw 2.9 million visitors last year. Additional statistics and facts outline the impact of travel and tourism on Greater Des Moines in an attached document.

Nationally, travel and tourism is one of largest industries, generating $1.9 trillion in economic output, according to the U.S Travel Association. Travel and tourism directly generated $124 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments, meaning each U.S. household would pay $1,055 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry.