It's surprising how often that un-spoken assumption appears... especially in the UK after years of regional and local government budget cuts.
The latest victim, according to the trade newspaper Travel Weekly, could be the tourism department at Pembrokeshire County Council in Wales.
Councillors are eyeing up the £132,000 a year they could save by scrapping the department, despite a report telling them that tourism is an enormously important part of Pembrokeshire's economy, generating £585 million each year and providing 11,834 full-time equivalent jobs, making it the county's biggest employer.
The chances are that a new 'off the books' Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) will be set up, comprising local stakeholders in the travel & tourism industry... and that may not be a bad thing. A private, commercial, tourism promotion company could be more energetic, politically nimble and efficient, as long as it is given political support.
Unfortunately we come back to the original sentiment above. Tourism simply isn't taken seriously in a country that doesn't even have a fullgrown Minister of Tourism (We have a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)!
They should take it seriously though.
Last month, Gloria Guevara, the charismatic President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), spoke at an event in the French Ambassador's residence in London, about the signficance of our industry in 2018, based on their own research...
This last year has been the 7th in a row that growth in the tourism sector has outpaced the global economy - while global GDP grew by 3% last year, travel & tourism GDP grew by 4.6%.
Travel & Tourism supports one job in every 10 on the planet, and one job in every 5 new jobs created!
And that growth is set to continue...
The 10.4% that Travel & Tourism currently contributes to global GDP is expected to rise to 11.7% in 2028, with a corresponding growth in jobs - from 1/10 to 1/9 jobs.
So, tourism WILL always be there, and it certainly IS important.