As National Travel and Tourism Week kicks off Saturday, the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB) encourages McKinney residents to be tourists in their own town.

The annual observation was signified by Mayor Brian Loughmiller's proclamation that May 5-13, 2012 be observed as National Travel and Tourism Week in McKinney.

As part of the fun, McKinney residents are invited to take part in a digital scavenger hunt through MCVB's Facebook page. Prizes will be awarded.

To take part in the digital scavenger hunt, “Tourism Opens Doors,” join the MCVB Facebook page, Destination McKinney Texas.

“We always do something during this week to engage people, get them out and about within the city," explained Diann Bayes, MVCB executive director. "This year, it’s a digital scavenger hunt on Facebook where we’ll post two photos a day of doors at our attractions and other tourism partners in support of the idea that ‘Tourism Opens Doors.’“

"Participants will need to figure out where each door is, go to that location, and post a photo on our Facebook page of themselves or their family or friends with that door. The first one to post will win a prize,” Bayes said.

Residents and visitors alike can pick up a new Visitors Guide, city map, and other materials at the MCVB office, 1575 Heritage Drive, Suite 100, located just south of West University/U.S. 380 and east of Redbud.

A PDF version of the Visitors Guide and individual “niche” brochures are also available from the city’s tourism Website, Those who stop by and mention National Travel & Tourism Week will receive a special token of the MCVB’s appreciation.

“This week is the perfect opportunity for residents to sample what McKinney has to offer. Who better to share the wonderful opportunities with visitors than our own citizens, the ambassadors of McKinney?”  Bayes said. “We welcome thousands of visitors to McKinney each year to enjoy the city’s cultural, historical and sports venues and special events. But all too often, those who live in McKinney forget they don’t have to leave town to enjoy a quick vacation.”

Bayes sees this annual celebration as a way for McKinney residents to learn more about what the community has to offer so they can be better-informed tour guides for friends and family.

During the 2012 National Travel & Tourism Week, the MCVB staff will take part in the following activities:

  • Attend the National Travel Rally Day celebration in Dallas on Tuesday, May 8;
  • Host their second annual “Public Safety Appreciation Day” for McKinney’s first responders on Wednesday, May 9;
  • Work with 97.5 KLAK radio to promote the event throughout the week; and
  • Post photos on Facebook throughout the week for the digital scavenger hunt challenge through which participants can win prizes.

The Impact of Travel

“Travel and tourism supports 14.4 million jobs across the nation, including many right here in McKinney,” Bayes said. “In fact, one in nine jobs nationally is somehow related to travel. Without the tax revenue that travel generates in this country, each U.S. household would pay $1055 more in taxes each year. That’s an increase of more than a $100 in savings from last year’s total, according to the U.S. Travel Association.” 

Travel and tourism generated $1.9 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2011. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers, supporting 14.4 million jobs (including 7.5 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.2 billion a day, $92.8 million an hour, $1.5 million a minute and $25,700 a second.

According to the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism (Texas Tourism), travelers in Texas generated nearly $50 billion in 2007 in direct travel spending here, and the travel industry employed 557,500 Texans, creating a tourism payroll of roughly $15 billion. Travel expenditures generated $7.9 billion in state tax receipts. Texas is also one of the most visited states in the United States.

“For years, Texas has been one of the top travel destinations for both U.S. citizens and the international population,” Bayes said. “And our North Texas region – the DFW metroplex specifically  – is the top travel destination in the state.”

For more information about National Travel and Tourism Week, contact the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau at 214-544-1407 or stop by its offices at 1575 Heritage Drive, Suite 100.


About the author: Beth Shumate is communications manager for the McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau.