OMAHA, NE. May 1, 2020 – Visit Omaha, the city’s official tourism authority, is asking the community to shine red in support of 17,826 of our friends, family and neighbors whose livelihoods depend on tourism, many of whom are not working right now due to the impact of COVID-19. Red is the official color that marks National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3-9, 2020.
"No College World Series, no Olympic Swim Trials, no Berkshire Hathaway meeting, no festivals, no concerts – when tourism in our city disappears, we all feel it," said Visit Omaha Executive Director Keith Backsen. “In an effort to stand together with those in our local tourism industry, we are asking the community to shine a red light, or wear red throughout the week, in support of our local hotels, venues, attractions, restaurants, bars, retail shops, festivals, and sporting events that make this city a top Midwestern destination.
Two iconic Omaha landmarks, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and the WoodmenLife Tower at 17th and Farnam streets will shine their red lights in honor of the tourism industry. The WoodmenLife Tower will glow red on Sunday, May 3, 2020, and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge will shine bright red all week long.
“These lights will be seen for miles,” said Backsen. “When someone who works in the industry sees the bright red lights, it will be a reminder that Omaha stands with them.”
National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition during the first full week of May. It serves as a way to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal wellbeing. In Omaha, tourism is a $2 billion dollar industry, and generates $164 million in tax revenue for our local community.