Video contest highlights latest National Travel and Tourism Week

The newest component of the 30th annual National Travel and Tourism Week will culminate in one traveler winning a $2,500 getaway.

A US Travel Association video on the "Travel Effect"
A US Travel Association video on the "Travel Effect"

WASHINGTON: The newest component of the 30th annual National Travel and Tourism Week will culminate in one traveler winning a $2,500 getaway.

The US Travel Association has partnered with Expedia for the "What’s Your Travel Effect?" contest, which is open to all US residents. It will run through this Sunday, and entrants can submit videos up to 60 seconds long about how travel improves their lives.

"We were interested in getting some feedback from travelers – what really sparked their own travel," said Greg Staley, VP of communications at the US Travel Association.

Cities across the country are participating in the weeklong celebration with events and promotions. For instance, St. Louis and Chicago are teaming up to give away four-day trips for four  that include baseball games between the Cubs and Cardinals, said Cathy Keefe, manager of media relations at the US Travel Association.

Tuesday will be "rally day," with celebrations planned in various locations. The concept started six years ago, and Staley said it has "only intensified and grown in interest" as it tries to shine the spotlight on "the power of the travel industry."

The US Travel Association is handling all communications in-house for the weeklong event, said Staley.

He added that the initiative’s continued growth among travel professionals indicates that people are seeing the value of travel and tourism as an economic driver.

US Travel provides cities with a toolkit to help them guide and plan their individual events, such as "tweet sheets," op-eds, press releases, and ideas for staging a rally, said Staley. He added that graphics have become more popular as cities use postcards and other images to promote the event.

For example, the visitphilly Instagram account posted a photo previewing its initiative, the 3.2 Day Philadelphia Itinerary, which references the 42% of Americans who do not use 3.2 vacation days per year.

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