Did you know that in 2011, 5.23 million visitors came to Lubbock spending a total of $698.5 million? According to the report by D. K. Shifflet & Associates some of those visitors came for work, but the majority came to enjoy Lubbock’s attractions, unique shops and robust dining options. With this in mind, one of the most exciting times of the year for the travel and tourism industry is about to begin. Visit Lubbock is thrilled to participate in this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week taking place from Saturday, May 4 through Sunday, May 12. The Visit Lubbock Team has planned various activities in an effort to engage Lubbockites and promote the local impact of tourism.

To celebrate the tourism industry and its benefits, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 to designate the first full week of May as National Travel & Tourism Week. The week is celebrated so that local citizens may become educated and excited about what their city has to offer for visitors and how the money spent by tourists positively affects the local economy.

“From shopping and dining to money spent on recreational equipment or public transportation, the power of travel and tourism is felt by a variety of industries locally,” John Osborne, president and CEO of Visit Lubbock and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, said. “Tourism to Lubbock most directly impacts your pocketbook. As a result of travel to Lubbock, more than $455 was saved on property taxes per household in 2011.”

This week, Visit Lubbock encourages citizens to “Live Love Lubbock.” The first way to participate is to visit livelovelubbock.org to download the itinerary card to play the Itinerary Game. Grab family and friends, and visit as many of the participating attractions on the card as you can. By presenting the card at the participating attraction, participants will receive a special discount in honor of National Travel & Tourism Week as well as a sticker. Fill up the card with stickers throughout the week, and become eligible to win one of two “travel-specific” prizes. The itinerary card as well as the discounts will only be available during National Travel & Tourism Week: Saturday, May 4 through Sunday, May 12.

Aside from the Live Love Lubbock Itinerary Game, there will be Live Love Lubbock Daily Deals throughout the week at local restaurants and shops. These deals are only available through Visit Lubbock’s social media channels, and individuals are encouraged to like or follow Visit Lubbock on Facebook and Twitter to find information about each day’s location.

On Thursday, May 9, the Lubbock City Council will make a city proclamation in honor of the local impact of travel on the Lubbock economy. Also, Visit Lubbock will host the first ever Live Love Lubbock Luncheon on Tuesday, May 7 where the organization will honor and celebrate Lubbock’s travel and tourism professionals. The luncheon is an invitation only event.

For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week, please visit www.ustravel.org. For more information about the Live Love Lubbock activities for the week and the Itinerary Game, please visit www.livelovelubbock.org starting Friday, May 3.