National Tourism Week (May 9-17) brings good news for the Midwest travel and tourism industry.

Midwesterners’ vacation plans for 2009 double the national average despite economic concerns, according to a recently released Meredith Travel Group Study and Travel Omnibus Study. The study shows Midwesterners are more likely to take shorter vacations, while the rest of the country is more like to cancel their getaways in 2009.

In 2008, the United States and Midwest population averaged two vacations per year. The total population will average 1.2 vacations in 2009, below the Midwestern average of two vacations this year.

The Travel Group Study also shows that Midwesterners are more likely to plan their vacations, rather than take last minute getaways. Approximately 22-percent of respondents say they plan to take, or have taken, more vacations than they normally would. Nearly 50-percent of Midwestern travelers say their vacations have been road trips over the last three years.

“We see this as an encouraging sign of the upcoming summer travel season for Greater Des Moines,” said Greg Edwards, Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) President and CEO. “Our proactive advertising efforts will help make sure travelers throughout the region know how affordable Greater Des Moines is.”

Year-to-date, the GDMCVB has seen a 21-percent increase in visitor inquiries over last year, with significant growth in website and phone inquiries.

Iowa is ranked as the fourth most affordable state to vacation in according to the AAA 2008 Vacation Costs Survey.

The GDMCVB has special offers, hotel packages and coupons available at