National Tourism Day, celebrated annually on May 7th in the United States, is a special occasion dedicated to acknowledging the significance and impact of tourism on a local, national, and international level. This day encourages us to explore the beauty, culture, and history of our own country while acknowledging the economic benefits and cultural exchange that tourism graces us with.

The day is not just about admiring landscapes and visiting landmarks; it’s about nurturing the spirit of adventure, embracing diversity, realizing the wonders in our backyard, and fueling our appreciation for Mother Nature and the rich tapestry of human civilization.

History of National Tourism Day

The United States’ tourism history is rich, revolving around historical attractions, breathtaking landscapes, dynamic cities, and diverse cultural experiences. The late 18th century saw the early stages of tourism, with people traveling for health reasons, in search of waters with healing properties or locations with tranquil, coastal climates.

During the mid-19th century, the United States began to experience a different form of tourism that catered to leisure and relaxation. This shift was facilitated by the establishment of resorts, accommodations, travel guides and most importantly, improvements in transportation.

Remarkable advancements in transport, in particular railways in the 19th-century and automobiles and air travel in the 20th-century, made traveling more affordable and accessible for a greater number of people.

Tourism solidified its position as a vital part of the U.S. economy in the 20th century, with the creation of several National Parks and Monuments which protected the nation’s unique and historic wonders. After World War II, international tourism spiked due to global economic prosperity and the advent of commercial jet travel.

Presently, the tourism industry is among the largest sectors in the U.S. economy, making substantial contributions to the nation’s GDP and job market. In 2019, the U.S set a record by welcoming 79.26 million international visitors, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. National Tourism Day is a platform to recognize the continued importance of this industry, its positive impact on local economies nationwide, and to celebrate the U.S’s diverse beauty as a popular tourist hotspot.

National Tourism Day Timeline

Early Tourism

In colonial America, tourism was primarily focused around natural wonders and the religious retreats offered by the Puritan settlements.

The Revolutionary Era

The signing of the Declaration of Independence made many locations, such as Philadelphia, popular tourist destinations.

Transportation Improvements

The construction of railways, canals, and roads allowed for easier cross-country travel and tourism boomed as a result.

Rise of Leisure Tourism

Advancements in technology and changing social norms led to an increase in leisure tourism to resorts and boarding houses.

National Parks System

The creation of the National Parks System provided protected and scenic natural spaces for tourists to explore.

Post-World War II Boom

After World War II, the growing American middle class began traveling more frequently, leading to a boom in the tourism industry.

Disney World

The opening of Walt Disney World in Florida marked a significant shift in American tourism towards theme parks and family-friendly destinations.

Digital Age

Online travel booking sites and apps revolutionized the way Americans planned their trips, making travel more accessible and affordable to many.

Ideas to Celebrate National Tourism Day

1 faq icon

Tour your own City

Plan a day as a tourist in your own city. Visit local attractions, heritage sites, try out popular local food, and take plenty of photographs. Experience your own city from a tourist's perspective.

2 faq icon

Virtual Tour

If physically travelling is not an option, go on a virtual tour online. Many museums, zoos, and art galleries offer virtual tours. You can also explore different cities and countries using Google Earth.

3 faq icon

Plan a Future Trip

Spend the day researching and planning your dream trip, whether it be a road trip across the country or a vacation abroad. Research the culture, attractions, cuisine and key sights to see in the destination.

4 faq icon

Photo Exhibition

Organize a photo exhibition showcasing photos from your past trips. Invite friends and family and share the story behind each photo, creating an engaging and entertaining event.

5 faq icon

Watch Travel Shows or Movies

Spend the day watching various travel shows, documentaries, or movies inspiring travel. This could help you find your next travel destination and also give you an insight about different cultures and traditions around the world.

6 faq icon

Participate in Local Festivals

Participate in local events or festivals happening around National Tourism Day. Experience the uniqueness they offer and enjoy the diversity of your community.

8 Interesting Facts About Tourism in the US


Top US Destination

In 2019, New York City was the most visited destination in the United States, attracting approximately 65.2 million visitors both domestically and internationally.


Revenues from Tourism

from 1999 until 2023, the travel and tourism industry in the United States generated an average of 13204.19 USD Million in direct economic output.


U.S.A. – Home to Varied Natural Features

The US boasts 63 national parks and more than 10,000 state parks, embodying a diversity of natural features from the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.


Role in Employment

Travel and tourism support millions of jobs in the United States. In 2019, the travel and tourism industry in the United States supported 8.9 million jobs.


Most Visited National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park, attracting millions of visitors each year with its diverse wildlife and ancient mountains.


International Visitors

In 2019, approximately 79 million international visitors traveled to the United States, making it one of the top tourist destinations worldwide.


Country with Most Visitors to the U.S.

Canada contributes the highest number of international travelers to the United States, followed by Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Japan.


Visitor Attractions

The US is home to many iconic tourist attractions from historical sites such as the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty, to amusement parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios.

National Tourism Day FAQs

Next National Tourism Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 7th Sunday
2024 May 7th Tuesday
2025 May 7th Wednesday
2026 May 7th Thursday
2027 May 7th Friday
What is the pattern? Every May 7th

National Tourism Day Word Search

  • Tourism
  • Itinerary
  • Destination
  • Landmark
  • Adventure
  • Vacation