We pass popular tourist sites like Acme Oyster House every day; we may not even think of how it supports our community. But Acme and others, like Airboat Adventures, Country Inn & Suites and the Westwego Farmers & Fisheries Market are the backbone of Jefferson Parish. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us the second largest tourism economy in Louisiana!

Gretna Fest
Gretna Heritage Festival.

Travel matters, and it improves Jefferson Parish in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on our local residents.In 2017, travel supported 26,000 jobs a year just in Jefferson Parish and it also has an impact that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another. 

Travel Matters to America
At the national level, travel is critical to the U.S. economy and American jobs. As a leader in workforce development and career advancement–travel creates and supports 15.7million jobs across the U.S.–making it the seventh-largest private sector employer. In 2018, traveler spending generated $171 billion in total tax revenue, including $78.6 billion in state and local revenue. That $78.6 billion can pay for a host of critical resources: it’s more than enough to pay all state and local police and firefighters, or the more than one million public high school teachers.

Travel is powerful for cities and states, and Jefferson Parish is no exception. Check out our 2017 stats below. We don't have 2018's yet, but we expect them to be even higher!

2017 Tourism by the numbers

Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked at Deanie's Seafood in Bucktown, or maybe your kids work there now. For many–one third of Americans to be exact–travel is the front door to a promising career. Americans whose first job was in travel have an average career salary of $81,900, and 2 in 5 of those whose first job was in travel are now earning more than $100,000!

Think about how travel matters to Grand Isle State Park: travel-dependent leisure and hospitality is the largest small business employer in the U.S.

Those are only a few reasons why it’s so important to keep welcoming visitors to Jefferson Parish—and why our industry is elevating the message of “Travel Matters” during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 5-11. We encourage you to join us in observing NTTW this year, and celebrate all that travel does for our area, and for our country as a whole.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

• Join our area's rally event on May 7th 9-10:30AM at Champions Square in New Orleans.
• Contact our member of Congress and tell them why travel is important to Jefferson Parish.
• Get social and engage with the #nttw19 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Share how travel matters in your community.

For more great ideas and resources, click here!