EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a monthly column provided by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau that discusses the tourism events on the horizon.
It’s hard to believe that we are just about ready to close out 2014! It was just a year ago that I began this column with AdVantage News and its new focus began.
In tourism news, 2014 will go down in the record books as another strong year for tourism expenditures and growth in the region. Obviously, the final numbers are not yet in, but we believe tourism will finish strong this month for another great year of tourism. We have our eyes set on a 2015 with many new directions and announcements that will further our tourism market and keep us on a path toward growth and tourism success.
There are still some things you can do to help tourism finish even stronger for our region. Shop local this holiday season at any of our local stores with some great finds. You can also make sure you plan to dine with our region this holiday season. It’s not too late to plan a last-minute holiday party with co-workers or friends at one of our great restaurants or have them cater your party at work or home! Check out all of the options for dining that the entire region offers at www.VisitAlton.com.
Also during this holiday season, be sure to give back to your local community. A family fun-filled visit to Christmas Wonderland is a great way to have fun and give back to our community. All of the proceeds from this wonderful holiday tradition are reinvested into civic groups and organizations that serve our community. Be sure to plan your trip through Rock Spring Park today!
This weekend and next are all filled with wonderful holiday traditions and events. From the Elsah Home for the Holidays event to Wreaths Across America, you will want to get out to experience all the fun these next two weeks of December. Check out all of the many events from craft fairs, to house tours to chocolate tastings at www.VisitAlton.com.
With the New Year celebrations quickly approaching, start making your plans at www.VisitAlton.com. Peruse the dining options and make plans to dine out all around Alton this New Year’s Eve. Immediately following New Year’s, we jump right into eagle-watching season. Our signature event, the Alton-Audubon Eagle Fest, takes place on Jan. 3 at the Audubon Center and Alton Visitor Center and Third Street parking lot. Mark your calendar now for great eagle-watching adventures, guided tours and ice carvings to kick-start the season. Be sure to grab the new edition of our eagle watcher’s guide.
Stawar is president and CEO of the CVB, which works for the vested interests of hospitality partners in northwestern Madison County and all of Jersey and Calhoun counties.