By Debbie Vandeberg
National Tourism Week is May 4th-12th, 2002, with "See America" as this year's national theme.
The message to travelers is to see America, to celebrate a great nation, its vistas, its heroes, its culture, and its heritage. See America, to celebrate the spirit, adventure, joy and the discovery of travel.
Tourism for 2002 has been raised to a new level of significance by the tragedy of 9-11, and the global war we now face on terrorism. The travel, tourism, hospitality and recreation industries contribute to the nation's social, cultural and economic well-being is more meaningful than ever before.
Now more than ever it is a time to understand the opportunity that we have and to understand the importance of tourism and its impact on us!
Visitors spent $1.71 billion in Montana in 2001. 32,400 Montana jobs are directly supported by tourism and Montana's industry payroll is $459 million annually. Tourists are a vital part of our economy. Visitors spend money on airfare, rental cars, rail tickets, lodging and food for the obvious. They also shop in our stores, enjoy our historical and cultural attractions. Whether passing through, here on a destination vacation or attending a meeting or convention, tourism impacts our local economy.
The Chamber's Tourism Committee has been busy; to note a few of the projects:
Visit Havre billboard project, a co-op with Russell Country directing tourists north from Fort Benton
The Chamber's web site www.havremt.com that promotes area attractions
Plans are developing for a historical brunch walk
The Welcome Mat program a partnership with the Havre Laundry is a success
So, it's time again to welcome visitors from around Montana, the country and the world. We have much to offer this visitor to our community; the natural attractions and open places, like city parks and Beaver Creek Park, historical/cultural attractions Fort Assinniboine, the Buffalo Jump, the Clack Museum and the many special events like Havre Festival Days that highlight our summer calendar.