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Media Contact:

Tracie McPherson
Visit Omaha
Director of Communications

Local Employees Grab the Spotlight During National Tourism Week

OMAHA, NE., May 8, 2018 – From small business owners and hotel staff to retail clerks and restaurant workers, tourism means local jobs - 17,280 local jobs to be exact. As we celebrate National Tourism Week May 6-12, Visit Omaha will begin a new campaign focused on highlighting and celebrating Omaha's 8th largest private sector employer – tourism.

"Visitor spending supports 1 in 17 jobs in Omaha, so chances are you know someone who works in the tourism industry," said Keith Backsen, Executive Director of Visit Omaha. "The new campaign highlights the importance the travel industry has on local families who live and work here."

Visit Omaha has created a series of videos showcasing people whose livelihood depends on tourism. The 2018 "What Tourism Looks Like" campaign features stories from people such as: Julius Nero III who, because of tourism, has been able to start his own bartending business; Angela Hampton, a motorcoach operator for Arrow State Lines who dreamed of driving a bus on the open road and now gets paid for doing just that; and Kristin Herrera, who is part of a small business venture that offers culinary tours to visitors. The videos will be featured on television, social media, and on beginning May 7, 2018.

Visit Omaha will also help celebrate frontline tourism employees and volunteers this week at the Omaha Metro Area Tourism Awards. The OMA Tourism Awards are tri-county partnership between Visit Omaha, Sarpy County Tourism, and the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau. The award ceremony is May 9, 11:30 a.m. at the Beardmore Event Center of Bellevue. During the celebration, eight members of the hospitality community will receive awards alongside Jack Diesing, Jr., OMA's Tourism Hero of the Year.


Visit Omaha, also known as the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism authority for the City of Omaha and Douglas County.