Dodge City will observe National Travel and Tourism Week from May 6 to May 12 and National Train Day on May 12.

The annual National Travel and Tourism Week is designed to draw attention to, enhance perceptions of, and recognize the economic, social, and cultural impacts of tourism.

This annual tradition brings industry professionals together to highlight the value of travel and consider the broad impact it holds for communities across the country.

Last year alone, visitors spent $134 million in Ford County ranking us 8th in visitor spending among all 105 counties in the state. The theme this year is "Travel Then and Now". Plans are underway to highlight all that Dodge City has to offer and to call attention to the history and heritage of the community, as well the changes in the community over the years.

National Train Day is a holiday started by Amtrak in 2008 as a method to spread information to the general public about the advantages of railway travel and the history of trains in the United States. It is held each year on the Saturday closest to May 10, the anniversary of the pounding of the Golden spike in Promontory, Utah, which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S.

The City of Dodge City, Ford County, and Travel Professionals, along with the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau, would like citizens to join us in celebrating our Western Heritage, see the services offered by Amtrak in the community, and learn more about the restoration of the Historic Depot.

We’d like to see folks take some time to explore the attractions and history the city has to offer. We are eager to highlight Dodge City in this nationwide event, and hope that this will remind the local citizens of all the things we have to offer, and peak the interests of the expanding tourism opportunities in and around our community. In the process, we’ll be showcasing how important travel and tourism is to our local economy and will demonstrate the many great things to see and do in Dodge City.

Stay in the know of all the activities that week by checking out our website www.visitdodgecity.org and the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Facebook page.

Most tourism venues are planning on showcasing "Then and Now" photos, showing how our community has grown over the years.

To celebrate, the Convention and Visitors Bureau will host an Open House and Chamber Coffee on Tuesday, May 8 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Visitors Center to kick off the week, and will be offering a complementary Historic Trolley Tour at 9:30 a.m. that day, to the first 24 riders.

We will also offer complementary Historic Trolley Tours to the public on Saturday, May 12 at the Visitor Center. Rides will run at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Seating is limited to 24 riders per tour.

To celebrate National Train Day, there will be an Open House and tours of the Historic Depot on May 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.