Visit Tampa Bay celebrates 40 years of Tourism Week and Travel’s Role in Stimulating Economic Growth

Tampa, FL (April 11, 2023) - Visit Tampa Bay and its 750 partners in the hospitality industry celebrate the Power of Travel with destinations across the country during this year’s “National Travel and Tourism Week” (NTTW) with multiple events highlighted by the annual awards lunch on May 10th at the Hilton Tampa Downtown that honors local tourism industry heroes and ambassadors.

Working in association with U.S. Travel Association, the campaign for 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week and demonstrates travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities and creating quality job opportunities.  The travel industry fuels every industry, in every community and its success is the nation’s success.  Hillsborough County underlines the statement with over $7 billion in economic impact last year and more than 51,000 local jobs directly sustained by our tourism industry.

“The Tampa Bay tourism and hospitality industry continues to reach new heights and drive economic impact to Hillsborough County through visitation,” says Santiago C. Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “National Travel and Tourism Week is a time to reflect on Tampa Bay’s incredible growth and success. It is also a time to celebrate the local hospitality industry and our 750+ partners, stakeholders and tourism champions whose efforts have helped transform our tourism economy into a nationwide leader.”

While the official dates for NTTW are May 7-13, 2023, Visit Tampa Bay drives off early with Tee Off For Tourism on April 21, in association with Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association, and a Tourism Gives Back volunteer day at Feeding Tampa Bay on May 5. Other events during NTTW include:



Regional Red Lighting Demonstration

Visit Tampa Bay kicks the week off by highlighting Tampa Bay’s landmarks in red, the official color of National Travel and Tourism Week.


Landmarks participating in the lighting include:

  • Old City Hall
  • Raymond James Stadium
  • Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay 
  • Sparkman Wharf
  • The Florida Aquarium 
  • Straz Center for the Performing Arts
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park
  • Tampa International Airport
  • Riverwalk Tampa
  • Kennedy Blvd and Platt Street Bridges
  • Curtis Hixon Park



Tourism Gives Back 

During Tourism Gives Back, members of the Tampa Bay tourism industry will gather for volunteer shifts from 9:00am – 11:30pm or 1:00pm – 3:30pm at Feeding Tampa Bay to support the community.



‘Pineapple Cup’ Battle of the Bay Kickball Tournament 

Both sides of the Bay will take it to the field as Visit Tampa Bay and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater unite for some friendly competition at the 3rd Annual Pineapple Cup on May 9th at 1:00 p.m. 

Visit Tampa Bay continues the weeklong celebration with an additional schedule of activities including:


In recognition and support of tourism and hospitality, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners will proclaim May 5 – 10, 2023 Tampa Bay Tourism Week”.

Partner Appreciation Visits 

Visit Tampa Bay and its team members will participate in this outreach initiative by visiting its partners and giving small tokens of appreciation throughout the week.

Bern Laxer Hospitality Hero Awards for Excellence 

Visit Tampa Bay will bring back its Bern Laxer Awards for Excellence to honor nominated individuals as tourism champions for their incredible efforts in ensuring visitors have a memorable experience in the destination. 


The heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast beats in Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock sun, fun and culture in Florida’s most diverse travel destination. As a not-for-profit corporation certified by Destinations International’s Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP), we work with hundreds of partners to tell the world the story of Tampa Bay. Treasure awaits.