National Travel and Tourism Week Observed in Effingham

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Published on May 6 2014 3:32 pm
Last Updated on May 6 2014 4:12 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Mayor Merv Gillenwater proclaimed May 3 - 11, 2014 as National Travel & Tourism Week in the City of Effingham.

The Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) plans to celebrate this week with their first ever Best of Effingham Tourism Awards and giveaways at the Effingham Visitor Center! This year's theme is "Travel Effect," which is part of the U. S. Travel Association's multiyear campaign to prove through authoritative research the real and meaningful impact the travel industry has on our lives, businesses and economy.

"Travel and tourism supports 14.9 million jobs across the nation, including many right here in Effingham. We are fortunate to have 17 hotels, over 65 restaurants, and many great attractions here," said Jodi Jackson, Director of Tourism for the Effingham CVB.

Travel and tourism is a $31.8 billion industry for Illinois, providing 288,700 jobs and generating $2 billion in local tax revenue. Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. Travel and tourism support employees in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance. Travel Effect research proves that along with its economic benefits, travel has the power to improve relationships and to create lasting family memories. Additional studies include measuring the bottom-line impact of business travel and the impact of government meetings on public- and private-sector development and local communities. More information is available by clicking here.

The Effingham Tourism Office plans to celebrate travel and tourism throughout the week.

"We are promoting our first annual Best of Effingham Tourism Awards this year and we're excited to see what impact it will have on the winners," said Jackson. Residents and travelers can vote on their favorite Effingham spots for categories like "Best Unique Shopping, Hidden Gem and Best Restaurant," just to name a few.

To entice people to participate, by taking the online survey (posted on "Visit Effingham" Facebook page & visiteffinghamil.com) or stopping by the Effingham Visitor Center (1505 Hampton Drive) May 5 -10th, you'll be entered to win a prize package including 4 tickets to Raging Rivers Water Park in Grafton, IL and a $100 VISA gift card. If you stop by the Visitor Center, you'll also be able to pick up a free Effingham beach mat and free cookies by Holli's Flour Shop (while supplies last).

Jackson hopes people will make time to vote and be encouraged to really explore Effingham.  A reminder to participate in the Tourism Office's "Have Pig, Will Travel" program, going on now. Pick up a stress ball EffingHAM pig from the Visitor Center and travel with him. Take photos and post them to the Tourism Office's Facebook page for a chance to win a gift basket full of Effingham goodies. For more information, visit www.visiteffinghamil.com or call 217.342.5310.