We pass popular tourist sites like WildWater Express Waterslide every day; we may not even think of how it supports our community. But the waterslide and others like the Hinton Railroad Museum, Chestnut Revival, The Ritz Theatre, The Market, and Big Four Drug Store are the backbone of the Hinton Historic District. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us—and visitors—a lifetime of memories.
Travel matters, and it improves Summers County in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on Summers County residents. Travel supports hundreds of jobs in Hinton and Summers County, 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 15.7 million 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 Hinton is no exception. Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked at Dairy Queen, 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 in travel have an average career salary of $81,900, and two in 5 of those whose first job was in travel are now earning more than $100,000.
Think about how travel matters to Summers County: 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 Hinton—and why we are 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 Hinton, and for our country as a whole.