Theme of this year’s celebration honors the Spirit of Travel, recognizing strength and resiliency of travel and tourism industry

Visit Rochester is recognizing National Travel & Tourism Week through a series of virtual activities and events that will celebrate and raise awareness of the tourism and hospitality industry in Monroe County, taking place May 3- May 9.

National Travel & Tourism Week, the annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight resilience and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic with this year’s theme: the Spirit of Travel.

This year, the coronavirus emergency is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and the entire economy. Now more than ever, the travel and tourism community in Rochester and the Finger Lakes must come together, support each other and remind local residents, businesses and tourism industry stakeholders that even through the most difficult times, the “Spirit of Travel” cannot be broken.

“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for the tourism and hospitality industry. Prior to the start of the pandemic, the economic impact of the tourism industry in Monroe County alone exceeded $1 billion,” said Don Jeffries, Visit Rochester President & CEO. “During National Travel & Tourism Week, it is our goal to raise awareness of the importance of the tourism and hospitality industry on our local economy, while also honoring the hardworking tourism and hospitality industry workers in our community. We are also helping our local community connect with and virtually explore the many tourism features Rochester still has to offer, including virtual tours and events, safely exploring outdoor spaces and enjoying takeout or curbside delivery from a local Rochester restaurant.”

“Through every hardship, I find myself in awe of the travel industry’s ability to join together, adapt, and emerge stronger than before,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “This is our toughest challenge yet, but what I’ve seen is that the spirit of travel has not been shattered.”

Activities that Visit Rochester has planned for National Travel & Tourism Week local include:

  • Visit Rochester at Home (Monday, May 4). Celebrate the start of National Travel & Tourism Week at home with our guide to discovering some of the best of Rochester from the safety of your home, or through socially distant activities. From a guide to Rochester restaurants offering curbside takeout and delivery, virtual visits to Rochester’s museums and cultural institutions, activities for families like a coloring sheet and educational scavenger hunt, and a guide to fresh air activities.

  • Give 5, Tag 5 (Tuesday, May 5). Show your support for Rochester tourism businesses. Give a five-star review to your favorite local business, and then tag five tourism businesses on social media.  

  • Virtual Hospitality Hour and Industry Trivia night (Wednesday, May 6). Hosted by Visit Rochester’s Visitor Industry Council, a virtual social gathering and trivia night for members of the local tourism and hospitality industry.

  • Virtual Lunch and Learn with Nicole Mahoney, Tourism Industry Champion and CEO of Break The Ice Media (Thursday, May 7). Visit Rochester is partnering with Break the Ice Media to deliver a virtual lunch and learn for its members on a virtual educational program. In this presentation, These Are Not Unprecedented Times: Marketing Tourism Through the Crisis, participants will learn about the actionable steps they can take right now and in the future to set their tourism businesses up for success.

  • Light the Skyline Red for Hospitality Workers (Friday, May 8). Watch as Rochester’s city skyline is lit red this evening in support of tourism and hospitality workers. Tourism and hospitality plays an important role in the economy in Rochester and the Finger Lakes. At a time when so many tourism and hospitality employees are being impacted by the pandemic, we will show our support for our local industry by lighting the Rochester skyline red.

  • Rochester Restaurant Day (Saturday, May 9). Restaurants keep our community fed in more ways than one during this time. Show your support for Rochester restaurants and order takeout from a local favorite. Share your Rochester takeout options on social media using #LocalROCs.

To broaden the support and resources it can provide for the tourism and hospitality community, Visit Rochester recently launched “Rise Up with Visit Rochester,” a new community partner membership program. As our community continues to navigate through these uncertain times, hospitality-related businesses are invited to partner with Visit Rochester between now and August 31, 2020 and take advantage of a free community partnership with Visit Rochester. Rise Up with Visit Rochester community partners will have access to industry updates and alerts, the opportunity to create and communicate specials and promotions, and a virtual calendar of events. Organizations interested in joining as a Rise Up with Visit Rochester community partner can learn more and complete a membership application here:

Follow along with Visit Rochester’s National travel & Tourism Week activities on social media, and on

About Visit Rochester
Visit Rochester is the official tourism promotion agency for Greater Rochester and Monroe County. Visit Rochester is a membership organization with over 400 members representing, lodging, retail, restaurants, services, and community organizations. Working together with our members and partners, our mission is to sell and market Greater Rochester as a preferred destination in order to grow and maximize visitor spending and to enhance the economy. To learn more go to