Travel shapes outlooks on our world and on our lives. It defines who we are. It opens our eyes to new places, new cultures, and new ideas. It molds our perspectives and provides us the experiences that make us uniquely human. Without travel, the world would be a very different place.

Whether travel takes you to developing countries, historic landmarks, remote mountains, bustling cities, or high-end resorts, traveling is your right. In fact, the right to travel freely is an essential human right that is respected internationally.

The right to travel was first enshrined into English Common law at the signing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215. In 1777 it was included in Article 4 of the United States’ Articles of Confederation. This constitutional right has been cited in multiple federal court cases, including Kent v. Dulles (1958), when Justice William Douglas said, “Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, may be necessary for a livelihood. It may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values” (

Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international declaration approved by 48 countries on December 10, 1948, agreed that all people from all nations have the right to travel. In Article 13, it states:

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Beehive Basin | Visit Big Sky
Beehive Basin | Visit Big Sky

Freedom of movement and the right to travel is an internationally respected right that has withstood the test of time. Many people take travel for granted, but the ability to move freely from one place to the next at any point in time is a unique right that should always be appreciated and never taken for granted.

Everyday people travel by plane, train, car, bicycle, and even on foot. They criss-cross the globe for business and for pleasure. Travel allows people to see, share, and experience the world. But travel does much more than expand the viewpoints of individuals.

Travel plays a major role in the world's economy. Think about all of the industries directly affected by travel and tourism - airlines, transportation, resorts, government agencies, conferences & conventions, hotels, food & beverage, outdoor recreation, ecotourism, and that's just the beginning. Businesses operate and people build their lives and their careers around the travel and tourism industry.

According to the US Travel Association, "Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.6 billion a day, $108.1 million an hour, $1.8 million a minute and $30,033 a second." Take a moment and let that soak in. Travel and tourism is a major player in the US economy. highlights the following travel and tourism facts in the US:

  • Supports 15.1 million jobs (8.1 million direct jobs and 6.9 million jobs in supporting industries)
  • Creates $147.9 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments
  • Each US household would pay $1,192 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by travel and tourism
  • Travel and tourism workers make $231.6 billion in wages
  • Responsible for 2.7% of nation's GDP
  • Ranks in the Top 10 Industries in 49 states and DC in terms of employment
  • Supports 1 out of 9 jobs

Travel has a direct impact on the economy of the US, but it's a worldwide phenomenon. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the global travel and tourism niche supports 284 million jobs and generates 9.8% of the world's GDP. Our essential right to travel creates jobs, generates revenue, and allows people to do business around the world. Travel is a key ingredient in global prosperity - and it's a growing niche.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park | Shutterstock

The beauty of travel is that it is a renewable and sustainable resource that is also a low impact way to boost the economy. There will always be a steady flow of worldly travelers being drawn to new destinations. They travel to experience places, people, cultures, and ideas. It is their right as citizens of the world. While they travel, they spend money that supports towns, businesses, and the people that choose to make travel their livelihood.

By dedicating their lives and careers to the travel and tourism industry, these people are making the world a better place. It's a diverse and noble career choice that exists because of our right to travel. Connecting with people and creating memorable experiences through travel must be appreciated and celebrated.

National Tourism Week is the week of May 2-8, 2021. This is "America's annual salute to travel and tourism." Established by a congressional resolution in 1983, National Tourism Week is a time to celebrate the travel and tourism industry. To read more about this awesome week, check out the US Travel Events Page.

Travel is something that everyone can stand behind. It provides worldly views, cultural awareness, supports millions of jobs, and is an essential part of the global economy.

Support travel because it supports you.

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