Visit Madison, Inc. celebrated the beginning of National Tourism Week by visiting Madison City Hall on May 6 to have a proclamation signed by Mayor Damon Welch declaring National Travel & Tourism Week in Madison.

May 5 through May 11 is the 36th annual celebration of National Tourism Week. This week was designated by the U.S. Congress in 1983 to draw public attention to the importance and benefits of the U.S. Travel and Tourism industry.

Traditionally, Visit Madison, Inc. uses this week to choose an individual or business for their yearly hospitality award. However, this year’s award is dedicated to Madison volunteers, naming the award the “Year of the Volunteer.”

According to a press release, last year, over 3,000 volunteers selflessly worked to serve the Jefferson County community and to make Visit Madison events Successful.

“We are grateful and indebted to all the selfless volunteers, who over the years have worked outside in some pretty awful weather, and behind the scenes to take care of all our ‘needs,’” said Executive Tourism Director Tawana Thomas. “The volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the many events in Madison and Jefferson County. Our events simply would not happen without volunteers.”

The award will be displayed in the Visitor Center.

“I believe volunteerism is a vitally important part of how Madison is able to operate on a daily basis,” said Mayor Damon Welch. “I don’t think they know it, but our volunteers are cultivating a culture of service that really has been a tradition amongst all Madisonians for may decades now — whether through time, resources or influence — it has and still is paramount. I congratulate all volunteers on this prestigious award.”

To participate in National Tourism Week, the Visit Madison Visitor Center will be giving “Visit Indiana Week” and “Visit Madison” swag as well as a chance to win a Rockin’ Thunder Boat Tour ride for two. The state of Indiana also has events happening throughout the week, which can be found at www.indiana.com

For additional information on Madison or any tourism questions, call Visit Madison, Inc. at (812) 265-2956.