The Power of People and Travel

Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism

by Daniel Thomas & Mary Twomey

TimeZoneOne produces the annual conference for Illinois’ tourism industry. Every year, we aspire to curate a compelling content rich event, relevant to the diverse and dynamic businesses hosting and entertaining Illinois visitors.

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The Power of People and Travel

TimeZoneOne produces the annual conference for Illinois’ tourism industry. Every year, we aspire to curate a compelling content rich event, relevant to the diverse and dynamic businesses hosting and entertaining Illinois visitors. Destination marketing experts, Daniel and Mary explain why this event is one of the highlights of the TimeZoneOne year.

Inspiring our Local Tourism Leaders

TimeZoneOne has managed the annual Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism since 2013. We produce and market the conference, handling recruitment, registration, sponsorship, media outreach, content, and social media.

The conference is presented by the Illinois Governor’s office, to support the Illinois tourism industry. We work closely with our partner, the Illinois Office of Tourism, to create an event full of rich insights, learnings and inspiration for Illinois tourism businesses.

Illinois Thrives on Tourism

Tourism is a crucial revenue stream for the State. In 2016, Illinois welcomed 110 million domestic visitors, and saw 3% growth in tourism revenue. Visitors to Illinois spent a total of $35 billion. This boost in tourism revenue included a 7% increase in Chicago, and a 4% increase downstate.

People are staying longer in Illinois. In 2016 the average stay lasted about 3% longer than 2015, outpacing national growth, which saw stays increase 2.4%.

“Tourism is big business. For every dollar we spend promoting Illinois, it continues to generate over $9 in economic return.”

Cory Jobe, Director, Illinois Office of Tourism

Giving Back & Having Fun

One of our favorite parts of the whole conference happens the day before, when a group of volunteers get together, roll up their sleeves, and head off into Springfield to give some love to the local historic sites that help make Illinois such a great tourism destination.

We’re big fans of giving back. But mostly we dig Illinois VolunTourism because it’s so much fun, and it’s a great way to get to know other conference attendees. In past years, we’ve weeded, we’ve cleaned, we’ve picked up litter, and then we all have cocktails after! If this sounds like your bag, you can register for this year’s Voluntourism event here.

Celebrating Excellence in Tourism

From our oldest jeans to our best bib and tucker for the Excellence in Tourism Awards. The awards are one of the high points of the event, and we’re proud to have grown entries, year on year on year.

As destination marketers, we find the awards hugely inspiring. We love seeing what the CVBs and tourism businesses around the State are doing to promote Illinois to visitors.

The success of the Conference is measured by three metrics, innovation, growth in attendance and award entries, and attendee engagement, and we’re happy that we’ve managed to deliver on all fronts.

One of our core values as an organization is to lead and educate, so we’re proud and grateful to partner with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to produce an event that celebrates and invests in the inspiring Illinois tourism industry.

2016 conference attendance

460+

Award entries

100+

conference content

150% Increase

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