The Spirit of Travel

We are living in a strange and unprecedented time. Confined to our homes, socializing via video conferencing, and unable to patronize some of our favorite restaurants and attractions in our communities. Life as we know it has seemingly been turned upside down for many.

So what can we do when there’s so much we can’t do? …We can Look forward, hope for a sense of normalcy to return and patiently wait to understand what the future holds. And most importantly, we can continue to dream and plan for adventures.

It’s National Travel & Tourism Week and for the first time ever we are encouraged not to travel. Although we are stuck at home, the Spirit of Travel is very much alive.

Travel means many things to many people. A shared passion around the world! Family getaways, honeymoons, education, cultural and culinary experiences. It also means economic growth and livelihoods. No, you may not be able to travel right now, but you can dream, plan, and take a moment to understand just how important the Spirit of Travel is to you.

Why do we travel?

Adventure

Plain and simple, right? Travel gives us the opportunity to explore familiar and unfamiliar places, meet new people, and see/try new things. 

Family Bonding 

“Are we there yet?”… a phrase I’m sure we all long to hear again from the antsy kids in the backseat. Travel is a way for families to make memories and share experiences with one another. 

Cultural & Culinary Experiences

One of the best things about visiting a new city is getting to try the food! New flavors and styles that reflect the culture of the city. The way to our hearts truly is through our stomachs. 

We also explore the community culture and meet the people of these destinations. We visit the museums, learn about the history, and see the art that makes each place we visit unique.

Romance 

Ooh la la! Yes, travel is a favorite romantic pastime. So much so that it’s one of the first things planned directly after a wedding! It encourages quality time, exciting new adventures, and gives couples the opportunity to share desires and make lifelong memories with each other.  

Work and Events 

Conferences, meetings, tournaments, fairs. A combination of business and pleasure really! Teams travel to compete for championships, professionals travel for education, meetings, or to generate new business.

The Economic Impact of Travel

Since Fargo is not a top of mind tourist destination, sometimes we can forget how impactful the hospitality and tourism industry is to our economy. When Covid-19 started to impact the world, our local economy also felt the hit. During these unprecedented times, we want to remind you of how important the tourism industry is to Fargo-Moorhead.

Employment

The Hospitality and Tourism industry supports almost 14,000 jobs in Cass County and nearly 42,000 in North Dakota. This is 7.2% of all of the jobs in North Dakota and 9.1% of Cass County’s employment. 

Fun Fact: if you put together all of the people who work in the tourism industry in North Dakota, they would form the 5th largest city in the state. 

Information from North Dakota Tourism’s 2018 Economic Analysis done by Tourism Economics.

Importance to the state

Behind Oil Extraction, exploration, and refining, and agriculture, tourism is North Dakota’s third-largest industry based on the state’s GDP. In 2018, visitors spent $3.0 billion in the state, and in Cass County alone they spent almost $880 million. This contributed $300 million to the state in taxes. 

Fun Fact: To make up for the tax dollars that tourists brought to North Dakota in 2018, each household would have to contribute $950 to maintain the current level of government. 

Information from North Dakota Tourism’s 2018 Economic Analysis done by Tourism Economics.

Restaurants & Hotels

The Fargo-Moorhead area is home to nearly 450 restaurants and 250 locally-owned restaurants. Each of these establishments helps contribute to the local economy and employs thousands of people. 

The area also has 63 hotels that have over 5,700 rooms that need to be filled by travelers each night to help keep them in business and keep those thousands of people employed. 

Meetings & Sport Tournaments

Business travel to Fargo-Moorhead last year brought people into the community to stay in hotel rooms over 20,000 times. This brought over $4.3 million in direct visitor spending right into our community.

In 2019, tournaments that came to Fargo-Moorhead generated over $10.1 million in direct visitor spending. Just youth hockey teams alone (along with their families) ate over 115,000 meals in our local restaurants.

Arts

We all know that Fargo has a booming arts culture and visitors to the community know it too! Between organizational spending on producing shows and audience spending, the arts sector brings in around $41.6 million.

83.2% of audience members who came from out of the area stated that “the art event was the primary purpose of (their) trip” and these non-local audience members spent around $41 per trip (excluding their tickets).

Information from the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study done with the Arts Partnership in 2015.