Celebrating Recovery Through Travel in Lincoln
Lincoln is a community that plays host to numerous exciting events and, as a result, welcomes visitors from all over the world. As we celebrate the power of travel throughout the upcoming National Travel and Tourism Week from May 2–8, we also focus on our recovery and the return of the energy and enthusiasm that comes with welcoming guests to our city.
It is no surprise that COVID-19 has greatly impacted the travel industry from coast-to-coast. Data from Destination Analysts suggests that 2021 will have two very distinct seasons—January through June and July through December. Their research shows that 26% of American travelers have already planned trips for the month of July, and many are planning to travel more than in 2019.
Over the past couple of months, the Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau has seen a significant uptick in groups inquiring about coming to Lincoln and meeting throughout the summer and fall months, beating all projections mentioned by national tourism professionals. Specifically, the group tour/motorcoach industry illustrates that fully-vaccinated, retired individuals are ready to travel. As vaccinations increase and consumer confidence continues to grow across all demographics, we are anticipating the July through December 2021 time period to be full of events and opportunities for visitors to fully embrace their travels to Lincoln and explore what we have to offer.
According to the latest figures from Visit Nebraska, direct travel spending in Nebraska generated 40,400 jobs and earned $770 million in 2019. The national average growth rate for tourism was 4.2% in 2019—Nebraska outpaced that number at 4.6% for 2019 and at 5.4% in 2018. Travel and tourism is a sector that continues to grow in all corners of our state and one that will boom again in a post-pandemic landscape.
The impact of travel and tourism on our local and state economies continues to increase, thanks to the quality of our events, attractions and of course, “The Good Life” that we offer here in Nebraska. Our local tax receipts benefit from travel, which means our local businesses are also positively impacted.
A recovery also includes an increase in safe business travel, meetings, and events, and we applaud our local attractions and venues that have worked hard to ensure their facilities and experiences are safe for visitors, adhering to local guidelines. While analysts predict it may take until 2024 for a full nationwide recovery, Lincoln is poised to see an earlier return to 2019 numbers and remain ahead of its peers across the country.
With events such as the Husker Spring Football Game and Lincoln Marathon helping us begin May on a high note, we are looking forward to additional large events on the horizon such as the National High School Finals Rodeo, concerts and normal Nebraska football and volleyball home schedules in the fall.
We invite you to join us in celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week and to continue that spirit through the rest of 2021 as we focus on helping our city recover and remain not only an exceptional place to visit, but also the best place to call home.