Overland Park CVB celebrates National Tourism Week, honors local award winners

Overland Park, Kansas – The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) celebrated this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week with a celebration luncheon at the New Theatre Restaurant on Thursday, May 9. The 2013 luncheon theme focused on the impact of travel and tourism on the Overland Park community and the importance of leaders regional partnerships.

Keynote speaker David Westbrook, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation at Children’s Mercy Hospital, shared his thoughts on the importance of leadership and the way it complements a community’s success. Actress Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), who is currently starring in the New Theatre’s production of Weekend Comedy, was in attendance as an honored guest.

Additionally, five tourism awards were bestowed upon organizations and individuals who have exceedingly supported and promoted Overland Park travel and tourism: American Baptist Churches USA, Heartland Soccer Association, Jennifer Findley (Kansas Hospital Association), USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum and the SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference.

Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. In 2012, Overland Park welcomed 2.4 million visitors who contributed a local economic impact of $877 million. According to newly released data from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the northeast region of Kansas (inclusive of Overland Park) is responsible for 44% of visitor tourism expenditures ($3320.7 million) for the entire state.

About National Travel and Tourism Week National Travel and Tourism Week was established in 1983 when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution designating the week to be celebrated in May 1984. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with “the appropriate ceremonies and activities.” By January 1986 industry leaders had formed a permanent full-time office at the U.S. Travel Association to sponsor the annual event and expand tourism awareness into year-round programs.

MEDIA: Photos available upon request.

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