We are introducing an exciting new feature to our columns. Our monthly column by Brett Stawar, along with regular columnists Joe Crawford and Larry Reid, will include a trivia question. Regular readers of Joe’s column, “Off The Top of My Head,” already know a winner of the contest is chosen each column, receiving a gift certificate to a local establishment and recognition in the paper. Now, our readers of “Tourism Today and Tomorrow,” along with Reid’s outdoors column, will have the same opportunity. Check out Brett’s column and visit the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau website at www.visitalton.com for a clue to today’s question! The answer to today’s trivia question will appear in next week’s “Off The Top of My Head” column.
This week's question: Which Altonian helped craft language to abolish slavery and co-authored the 13th Amendment to the Constitution?
This week celebrates the travel industry not only in our region, but throughout the entire United States.
Welcome to National Travel & Tourism Week, which celebrates one of America’s largest industries, tourism. Travel and tourism generated a record $2 trillion in economic output last year. Locally, tourism generated more than $424 million in expenditures last year in just Madison, Jersey and Calhoun counties.
Those are incredible numbers of economic impact. Your local CVB, the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, works tirelessly to raise the bar each and every year. We are a state-certified convention and visitors bureau. We also received national accreditation from the destination marketing association international, an accomplishment only achieved by nine Illinois destinations. This next year will prove to be very challenging for your CVB as the state budget impacts will be difficult to absorb. However, we will find the best ways to promote our region and keep visitors coming to our wonderful destination.
The CVB will celebrate US Travel and Tourism Week with appearances at Busch Stadium with the St. Louis CVC and their “Be A Tourist In Your Own Backyard” campaign. In addition, we will visit the state tourist information centers off Interstate 55 and Interstate 70, providing a treat from Duke Bakery and great information on the region to people stopping in. Finally, the folks at Argosy Casino have helped us sponsor our industry rally during rally day to energize our industry partners and prepare for a great summer of fun! Argosy Casino has really stepped up their support of our communities and is a great partner with tourism promotion.
After the rally, we will introduce a new tourism video and website to our communities and travelers. Be sure to check out the new video on May 6 at www.VisitAlton.com. Also, stay for some time and unravel the possibilities of travel here. The new features are incredible, including a new hashtag (#) campaign for #ExploreGreatRivers that will collect user-generated images from multiple social media platforms and showcase them on the front page of our newly redesigned site at www.visitalton.com on May 6.
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.