Going on an adventure. Relaxing. Meeting new business partners. Learning. Supporting local businesses and jobs. These are just a few examples of what travel means to people and to communities.

This year, to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week 2015, the travel industry is underscoring how travel affects all of us with the theme: “Travel is _______.”

Travel is vacationing. Travel is making memories. Travel is essential to the U.S. economy. Travel is a job creator. No matter how you complete the sentence, the bottom line message is that travel is vital to our country and our lives, and it has meaning for everyone.

NTTW is the perfect time to celebrate what travel means to you. Through nationwide events -- from rallies to media outreach to proclamations from local governments -- NTTW champions the power of the travel industry for this week and beyond. Travel and tourism professionals, from communities large and small, come together to promote the incredible contributions their markets and travel-related businesses make to strengthen the economy and workforce.

The theme -- “Travel is _________.” -- not only amplifies our call, but it customizes the unique impact of the U.S. travel industry on the fabric of America. Destinations, including ours here in Springfield, are defining travel as it specifically contributes to our local economies, businesses and lives.

We encourage you to do the same and take part in NTTW by sharing what “Travel is ______.” to you. Join our rally day event, our Travel Connections Mixer from 5-7 p.m. May 5 at The Old Glass Place, 521 E. St. Louis St. Please RSVP to CVB@SpringfieldMO.org or call 417-881-5300, ext. 100. On May 5, everyone is encouraged to wear RED to show your support for travel and tourism in Springfield.

Other things you can do are write a guest column or letter to editor for the news outlets, contact a member of Congress or the state legislature or just follow along on Twitter via @USTravel and #NTTW2015.

Get more ideas from the U.S. Travel Association’s toolkit at https://www.ustravel.org/marketing/national-travel-and-tourism-week/toolkit.

Let’s make this year’s NTTW more than just a celebration. Let’s make it a moment that positions our industry to grow even stronger and expand its influence on our daily lives!