Kansas City Celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11

Metro events demonstrate impact of tourism on local and regional economy

Kansas City, Mo.—Starting Sunday, the power of tourism will take center stage as several local organizations celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11. Every year, tourism attracts more than 25 million people to the Kansas City area, generating $5.5 billion in visitor spending and saving each KC household $550 in taxes. Nationally, tourism generated $2.5 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2018.

This year’s theme, “Travel Matters,” highlights the power of tourism locally and nationally. This annual salute is sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association and is commemorated by states, cities and organizations across America. Following is a list of events organized by local tourism organizations.

Tuesday, May 7

  • 8:30–9:30 a.m.: Shawnee Mayor Michelle Distler will step into the shoes of the city’s tourism workforce by greeting guests and working a “hospitality shift” at the Hampton Inn, 16555 Midland Dr. Contact Dustin Wolfe to coordinate an interview.
  • 2 p.m.: Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach will “takeover” the job of a flight instructor at iFLY, 10975 Metcalf Ave. Mayor Gerlach will wear a flight suit and teach a staged training class.
  • 2–4 p.m.: Lansing Mayor Mike Smith will perform grilling duties with a professional hibachi chef at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse, 871 W Eisenhower Rd. To coordinate an interview, contact Tim Dossey.

Wednesday, May 8

  • 7:30–9 a.m.: Merriam Mayor Ken Sissom will greet and serve guests at the Merriam Hampton Inn & Suites, 7400 W Frontage Rd. To coordinate an interview, contact Karen Crane.
  • 2–3 p.m.: Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm will make gyoza at Chewology inside the Lenexa Public Market, 8750 Penrose Ln. To coordinate an interview, contact Carmen Chopp

Thursday, May 9

  • The Olathe Convention & Visitors Bureau will host the May 9 Olathe Chamber Networking Coffee at the Heritage Center at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 E Kansas City Rd. The free event starts with networking at 9 a.m., followed by a short program at 9:30 a.m. to salute and thank those in the tourism industry. Roasterie coffee and items from Tropical Smoothie Café will be served.
  • 2–2:30 p.m.: To show appreciation for the region’s hardworking hospitality professionals, Visit KC will hand out Shatto Milk sweet treats in the front drive at The Westin Crown Center, 1 E Pershing Rd.
  • 2:45–4 p.m.: The Shatto ice cream truck will then move to the Visit KC Visitor Center, 1321 Baltimore Ave., to treat Downtown-area hospitality professionals.

Friday, May 10

  • 9:30–11:30 a.m.: Independence Mayor Eileen Weir will work at the National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W Pacific Ave. Mayor Weir will check students in, give tours and lead a mule-driven wagon ride. To coordinate an interview, contact Meg Lewis.
  • Tourism & Hospitality Night at The K: The Kansas City Royals take on the Philadelphia Phillies as KC-area attractions host more than 30 booths throughout the Outfield Experience. The Greater Kansas City Attractions Association is a co-sponsor of this annual event, which is open to the public. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with the first 10,000 fans to receive an attractions pack valued at $300. Game starts at 7:15 p.m. Fridays are Buck Nights and include a post-game fireworks show, presented by Popsicle & Price Chopper. Go to royals.com to purchase tickets.

After Tourism Week

  • On May 16 at 11:30 a.m., Visit Shawnee in partnership with the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Tourism Luncheon at Shawnee Town 1929's Town Hall. Visit KC CEO Jason Fulvi will deliver the keynote. Visit Shawnee will also award its 11th Good Starts Here Award to a management-level employee who has made an impact on the Hospitality Industry in Shawnee. For the first time ever, Visit Shawnee will also award its Shawnee Good Service Award to a frontline-level service employee for their hard work supporting the hospitality industry in Shawnee. One lucky winner will receive a $500 VISA gift card.

About Visit KC

Visit KC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service of the convention and tourism industries, Visit KC supports a vital and growing component of the local economy—generating nearly 48,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in economic impact annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to VisitKC.com.


Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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