Illinois Tourism Officials Visit Quad Cities

July  31, 2014

     Illinois welcomed a record 106 million tourists to its museums, restaurants, and festivals last year. Today, officials from the Illinois Office of Tourism will visit the Quad Cities Botanical Center to celebrate the milestone. 

      Joe Taylor, President of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, says it's a good sign for the local economy. Recent data show 1.6 million travelers came to the Quad Cities in 2012 and spent $800 million. 

      "They  need services in hotel rooms. They need meals served at restaurants. They need cashiers to check them out at retail establishments. They need all of these goods and services that only peole can provide. Visitors equals jobs."

       Last year, the Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a campaign with the slogan, "Marvels on the Mississippi." Taylor says the new branding has attracted  more visitors, and so has "Mini-Abe," a miniature, cartoon version of Abraham Lincoln. "Mini-Abe" appears in the state's tourism commercials and recently visited the Quad Cities.

      Illinois Office of Tourism director Jen Hoelzle and officials have chosen to deliver their message at the children's garden.

      "One of the things that's important to note is that the children's garden at the Botanical Center is one of the those new products, one of those new things we can market to continue growing visitors for the Quad Cities.

      Taylor says the garden, which opened this year, does a good job engaging children and education. 

       The visit will be held at 3 pm at the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island. It is part of a five-day Road Show with 16 stops across the state.