For more information and to schedule an interview, contact:

Brenda Kissko, Tourism & Public Relations Manager (432) 686‐3567,

On Monday, May 5, the Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) kicked off National Travel & Tourism Week with a Welcome Rally for 200 motorcycle riders traveling across the United States for the 20th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. The group is riding 2,800 miles from California to Florida to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction, a camp created by the Petty family to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life‐threatening illnesses. The rally took place at Midland’s newest hotel, Homewood Suites, at 1401 Tradewinds Blvd.

NASCAR celebrity Kyle Petty spoke to the group alongside Mayor Jerry Morales, Midland CVB Tourism & Public Relations Manager Brenda Kissko, and Regional Director of Sales of Hotel Management NewcrestImage (developer of the new Homewood Suites Midland) Beth Mahony. Notable participants expected at the invent included NASCAR legends Richard Petty, Geoff Bodine and Harry Gant, former NFL great Herschel Walker, Fox News contributor Col. Allen West, host of NBC’s NASCAR America Rick Allen, and co‐host of History Channel’s Top Gear America and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood.  

The gathering amplified the U.S. Travel Association’s multiyear campaign—known as Travel Effect—to prove the huge impact that travel and tourism has on our lives, businesses and local, state and national economies.  

The rally celebrated the effects of travel here in Midland. Midland CVB Tourism & Public Relations Manager Brenda Kissko said this group of riders is a prime example of the diversity of the types of overnight groups Midland hosts on a regular basis. This month alone, the CVB is hosting the Mounted Horse Patrol Training School, MSA Slow Pitch Tournament, High Plains Junior Rodeo Association’s rodeo, Mensaje Texas Catholic Retreat, and the US Tennis Association’s Texas Junior Team Tennis Spring Section Championship.

“In Midland, travel creates more than $551 million in total direct spending, generates 3,620 jobs, and $36.3 million in state and local tax receipts,” said Kissko. “This is an important diversification for our economy.”

Across Texas, travel employs a diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees, to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, as well as supports employees in other industry sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance.   The Travel Effect is felt nationwide as well.

  • $887.9 billion in travel‐related spending;  
  • $133.9 billion generated in federal, state and local tax revenues; and
  • 14.9 million American jobs supported – good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.

In addition, travel promotes physical and physiological health and improves workplace productivity. In 2013, the average U.S. employee skipped 3.2 days of paid time off. According to a recent study, if workers used all of their available paid time off, the U.S. economy would gain $160 billion in additional annual business sales, which would support 1.2 million new jobs and generate $21 billion in new annual tax revenues. If employees would take just one additional day of earned leave each year, it would add $73 billion annually to the U.S. GDP.

“It is now empirical, rather than just anecdotal, that travel is a key driver for improving individual health and strengthening our businesses and economy,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “Travel holds measurable benefits for our minds, bodies, relationships, businesses and economy. Travel should be celebrated every day.”  

Complete reports and data related to the Travel Effect, including “The Day Off Dividend,” bottom‐line impact of business travel and the impact of government meetings on public‐ and private‐sector development, are available at

The mission of the Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Midland as a vibrant visitor destination.