Seagrove, NC - In conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week, Heart of North Carolina Visitor Centers employees will host a special Tourism Day on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at both their North and Southbound locations on Hwy 220 just south of Seagrove, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Partners and stakeholders representing major sectors of the travel industry will attend Tourism Day in a show of support for the jobs and economic impact created by visitors to Randolph County.

"Travel supports 14.6 million jobs across the nation, including many more than 1,000 right here in Randolph County," said Tammy O'Kelley, Director of Tourism of the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority. "We are hosting this event to celebrate the benefits of travel in our community, and we're letting our elected officials and local citizens know about the positive effect travel has on Randolph County's economy and people."

Travel and tourism is a $115 million industry for Randolph County, providing more than 1,000 jobs and generating $8.74 million in state and local tax revenue in 2011. Travel employs a broad and diverse workforce from museums, attractions and hotel employees to restaurant and retail workers and artists. Travel further supports employees in other industry sectors, such as construction and finance.

"Travel is a force that can drive our nation's economic recovery. It is one of the healthiest sectors in terms of job creation and hiring, employing one out of every eight Americans," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. "We are galvanizing support to spread awareness of the Travel Effect to showcase the power of our industry and its impact on not only our economy and businesses, but also on our health, education and relationships."

According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism generated $2.0 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2012. The industry also represents one of America's largest employers, supporting 14.6 million jobs (including 7.7 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.3 billion a day, $97.7 million an hour, $1.6 million a minute and $25,125 a second.

"I've worked in the travel industry for 15 years, and I depend on visitors for my living," said Lane Ragsdale, Travel Industry Manager at the North Carolina Zoo. "When people make the choice to travel to Asheboro, North Carolina, it makes an enormous impact on the residents who live and work here."

Special events planned for Randolph County's Tourism Day include free food, pottery demonstrations, and hotel, attractions, and shopping information booths. For more information on this event, contact Myra Hoover, Visitor Centers Manager, at (336) 465-2388 or go to and click on the National Travel & Tourism Week logo.

The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority is a public authority created by the N.C. Legislature. The authority operates solely on occupancy taxes generated by overnight guests in Randolph County which generated $115.43 million in visitor spending in 2012. For more information, please call (336) 626-0364 or go to