What is your idea of the perfect trip? Catching a flight? Or perhaps a road trip to your favorite destination? No matter what your preference, travel inspires many of us to go beyond our traditional home fronts in search of adventure, relaxation, and even personal growth.

The first full week of May is the time the U.S. travel community celebrates the value the travel and hospitality industry holds for our economy, businesses, and personal well-being. This year's theme for National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3-9, is the "Spirit of Travel," and it is particularly appropriate in light of the challenges we are all facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although, a lot of travel has been temporarily paused because of the pandemic, virtual travel is alive and well. And Houston has plenty of virtual experiences for everyone.

Below are ways that Houston First Corporation is engaging residents and visitors during the week.

Check out the #MissingHou video below:

This heartfelt video is a tribute to Houston, featuring a selection of local icons and attractions set to music by the Houston Symphony.

  • Share your travel thoughts and favorite Houston attractions on Facebook and Twitter. Visit Houston is creating fun and entertaining social media posts throughout the week and invite you to post your favorite local restaurants, bars, restaurants, etc., using #MissingHOU.
  • On Tuesday, May 5, Houston will join other cities across the nation in saluting the travel industry by painting the town red, that's the official color of the Travel and Tourism Week. Major venues like Houston City Hall, the George R. Brown Convention Center, NRG Stadium, Montrose Bridges, and others will light up red from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Pictures will be posted on Houston First and Visit Houston social channels with the tag #MissingHOU or you can take your own and tag either Houston First or Visit Houston.
  • Enjoy museums, green spaces, and performing arts centers by clicking here for unique virtual experiences.

It is the spirit of travel that inspires us to experience other places, cultures, and adventures. We ask that you continue to daydream of the moment when we once again can #WelcomeHOU. Until then, be inspired and travel on.