Visit KC celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week

Industry accolades, 10K student visitors, and a giveaway highlight week in KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Visit KC joins the U.S. Travel Association in celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week, May 19-25, and recognizing the essential importance of tourism to Kansas City’s economy.  

With more 41,000 area jobs supported by travel and tourism and 67,000 visitors per day, Visit KC works to position Kansas City as a premier destination for leisure travel, meetings, conventions and events. 

Amid National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit KC is proud to release the results of its 2023 advertising effectiveness study from H2R Market Research.  

The study found Visit KC reached an estimated 5.7 million households in 2023, breaking the previous year’s record, and generated an incremental impact of $215 million in the Kansas City area. This economic impact represents a return on investment of $135 for every dollar invested in destination marketing. 

Visit KC’s campaigns resulted in approximately 276,000 trips to and 689,000 incremental room nights in Kansas City that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Over two-thirds of travelers in the region said the ads made KC seem like a more attractive place to visit.  

“We’re proud this latest research shows Kansas City is welcoming more travelers and creating more jobs, delivering substantial economic benefits to local residents,” said Kathy Nelson, Visit KC President and CEO. “It’s a true testament to the KC region’s growing spotlight." 

Watch Visit KC’s latest TV ads to see how we’re making Kansas City a top travel destination. 


Multiple Visit KC staff members have recently been recognized for their standout work in the travel and tourism industry.  

  • Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of Visit KC and the KC Sports Commission, was recently honored as the 2024 Sports ETA Executive of the Year. The award recognizes professional excellence, visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and profound impact within the sports events and tourism industry. 

  • In April, Destinations International named Lee Prutsman, senior marketing manager for Visit KC, to its 30 Under 30 class as a rising industry leader. The 2024 class includes professionals from tourism organizations of all sizes across four countries.  

  • Earlier this year, the Event Services Professionals Association (ESPA) honored Esther Walker-Young, Visit KC’s senior services manager, with the President’s Award. Walker-Young is a former ESPA director and now works as a dedicated volunteer.    

  • Becky Harsch, a national account manager at Visit KC, was recently elected to the Sports Events & Tourism Association’s board of directors. With Visit KC, Harsch works to bring large sporting events to the region.   

  • Kim Dooley, a Visit KC national account manager, was tapped to lead the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals nominations committee. As its leader, she will oversee the application and recommendation process for board members.   

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: Interviews are available with key Visit KC staff on request. 


Visit KC was recently recognized for its excellence in travel marketing at the 67th annual Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards.  

Out of more than 800 entries, the organization was awarded a Bronze Adrian Award for its 2023 NFL Draft promotion, increasing brand and event awareness and positioning Kansas City as the Heart of the Midwest. 

Collaborating with the NFL and agency of record MMGY Global, Visit KC used a tactical mix of media advertising in key regional markets to create an effective campaign that garnered 74 million paid media impressions – successfully delivering at 114% compared to goal. 


As Visit KC and groups nationwide celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, Kansas City is happy to welcome Destination Imagination’s 25th annual Global Finals to town May 22-25.  

Global Finals is the culminating tournament for Destination Imagination teams around the world. Nearly 10,000 students will compete at the Kansas City Convention Center this week in what’s known as the “world’s largest celebration of creativity.”  

VIDEO: See the impact of Kansas City tourism in real time! Video opportunities are available as Global Finals participants compete in a scavenger hunt across the city.  

This year, Destination Imagination is even expecting students from countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Guatemala, Mexico and more.  

Destination Imagination’s 2024 Global Finals and its attendees are expected to generate $6.2 million in economic impact for the Kansas City area.  


Drawing recognition from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Lonely Planet and more leading publications, the Kansas City Current's groundbreaking CPKC Stadium has been an undeniable inspiration for travel to the Heart of America in 2024.  

Join the celebration for National Travel and Tourism Week as Visit KC partners with the Kansas City Current for a giveaway!  

HOW TO ENTER: You can enter NOW online for a chance to win a Visit KC Official Visitors Guide signed by KC Current stars Hailie Mace and Lo'eau LaBonta. 

With tickets for regular season matches in high demand, a pair of international tournaments—The Women’s Cup and the NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup—promise the chance for even more visitors to experience top-tier soccer at the stadium during its inaugural year, allowing KC to welcome fans from across the region and around the world. 


kc current giveaway


About Visit KC 

Headquartered in Downtown Kansas City, Visit KC is the chief hospitality sales and marketing organization for the region. With a mission of creating global passion for Kansas City, Visit KC collaborates with nearly 1,000 community partners to drive the marketing, sales and service of the destination’s convention and tourism industry — a sector that supports more than 41,000 local jobs. For more information about Kansas City, go to  


Media Contacts

Makenzie Wolters
Makenzie Wolters (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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