READING, PA – National Tourism Week is May 5 – 11, 2019. Established in 1983 by President Reagan, Tourism Week is celebrated the first full week of May annually. Throughout the week, members of the tourism and hospitality industries unite around a common theme to celebrate travel’s many contributions to our communities. This year’s theme is Travel Matters.
As travel professionals across the country explore how travel matters to the economy, new experiences, jobs, staying connected, and health, Pennsylvania’s Americana Region wants to remind local residents of how travel matters to our economy.
According to the 2017 Economic Impact of Travel & Tourism in Pennsylvania*, tourism and travel in Berks County is growing. The study measures traveler spending in Berks in five main categories; Lodging, Food & Beverage, Retail, Recreation,
and Transportation. In 2017, the dollars spent by travelers in our region was an incredible 901.9 million dollars, a 5.4% increase over the 855.7 million dollars spent in 2016. The breakdown by category (dollar amounts in millions are rounded-up)
is Lodging – $100; Food & Beverage – $207; Retail – $163; Recreation – $162; and Transportation – $270.
Visitor spending has the greatest impact on the hospitality industry, but revenues generated by travel matter to the entire community because it creates jobs that support tourism both directly and indirectly. In 2017, over 11,402 people in our region worked in a business fully or partially supported by travel and tourism, generating $399.9 million in wages and benefits. Thanks to the new money visitors inject into our economy; Berks County households save $835 per year in taxes.
As if increased revenue, job creation, and lower taxes are not enough, the very same attractions and features that bring visitors to our door make Reading and Berks County a better place to live, work and play. These features attract new residents and companies to the area. The numbers speak for themselves, Travel Matters to Berks County; it is a leading economic driver in our community with a total impact of $1.5 billion.
*The study’s findings lag two years behind the current calendar year due to the in-depth research required to secure accurate numbers.
Pennsylvania’s Americana Region strives to positively impact the economy of Reading, Berks County, and Pennsylvania by increasing travel and tourism in the region.