From small business owners and hotel staff to retail clerks and restaurant workers, tourism means local jobs - 17,280 local jobs to be exact. As we celebrated National Tourism Week May 6-12, Visit Omaha began a new campaign focused on highlighting and celebrating Omaha’s 8th largest private sector employer – tourism.
“Visitor spending supports 1 in 17 jobs in Omaha, so chances are you know someone who works in the tourism industry,” said Keith Backsen, Executive Director of Visit Omaha. “The new campaign highlights the importance the travel industry has on local families who live and work here.”
Visit Omaha also helped celebrate frontline tourism employees and volunteers this week at the Omaha Metro Area (OMA) Tourism Awards. The OMA Tourism Awards are a tri-county partnership between Visit Omaha, Sarpy County Tourism and the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau. The award ceremony was held May 9th at the Beardmore Event Center of Bellevue. A total of 68 employees and volunteers from local attractions, hotels, restaurants, and retail shops were nominated, eight received top honors alongside College World Series, Inc. President Jack Diesing Jr, OMA’s Tourism Hero of the Year.
“Jack’s enormous impact on the area’s tourism economy over the last 30-plus years has been felt by all three of our counties,” said Keith Backsen, executive director for Visit Omaha. “The College World Series has an estimated $70 million economic impact on the metro area, and because of Jack’s dedication our communities will reap those rewards for years to come.”
Visit Omaha, also known as the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism authority for the City of Omaha.