This is National Travel & Tourism Week, a celebration of a growing sector in the Kansas economy. In Kansas, travel is a $10 billion industry, sustaining more than 94,000 jobs across the state – with 2,000 leisure/hospitality jobs in Crawford County alone.
“Tourism plays an extremely important role in the Crawford County economy,” said Devin Gorman, executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “With over 100,000 hotel night stays in 2018, our local restaurants, attractions, retail stores and many other businesses depend heavily on visitor spending. National Tourism Week is the perfect time to say thank you to all those individuals and businesses that help make visitors feel welcomed and appreciated.”
For many, travel through Southeast Kansas is about heritage tourism. They think of Big Brutus and the areas coal mining and immigration heritage. For others, it has become a recreation destination, with opportunities to have fun like Kansas Crossing Casino, or fishing or kayaking at any of the numerous public wildlife areas like Crawford State Park.
But Crawford County is also a sports destination. Whether it’s indoor track meets at the Plaster Center, club baseball’s World Series at Jaycee Ballpark (May 17-21), or the junior college national football championship (December 5), sporting events frequently bring in thousands of visitors in a single day.
The CVB said it’s also easy to overlook the numerous annual street fairs and festivals held throughout the county, including upcoming events in Mulberry (May 24-26) and Frontenac (June 6-9). These foster hometown pride and are excuses for travelers to stop and learn about our communities, and potentially spend a little money while visiting.
“Travel matters,” Gorman said. “It provides jobs and entertainment, and defines community.”
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