In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Iowa Tourism Office recently recognized the Clay County Fair for its contributions to the state’s $8.06 billion tourism industry.

National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13), now in its 34th year, unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to employment, economic growth and personal well-being.

“We value and appreciate our partners for the work they do year-round to enhance the state’s economy through tourism,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “We’re taking this special week to recognize communities, events, attractions, restaurants and lodging facilities in all 99 counties and thank them for those efforts.”

“It was an honor to host Shawna and brainstorm ideas about how we can promote the Clay County Fair and, in turn, Iowa,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We take seriously our role as one of the largest tourism events in the state and the impact that it has on Spencer and Clay County.”

Travel is an integral part of the state’s economy because people who visit Iowa annually generate more than $450 million in state tax revenue that pays for programs that benefit residents. The industry also supports the jobs of more than 67,000 Iowans – jobs that can never be outsourced to another location.

Local numbers:

  • 730 jobs are supported by travel and tourism in Clay County
  • Travel and tourism generates $1.34 million in local tax revenue for Clay County

In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents of and visitors to Iowa. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with family is good for everyone, especially our children—kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.