The Illinois Council on Convention and Visitor Bureaus is the state trade association for tourism bureaus across the state. Macomb hosted this fall's conference.
"We're all doing the same thing, we're just doing it for different areas," said Kimberly Bless, chair of the ICCVB and President and CEO of the Elgin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tourism in Illinois is booming, relatively speaking. Back up to pre-Sept. 11 numbers, it's now in the top 10 industries that make up the Illinois economy.
"We've seen double digit growth in tourism money (spent) in Illinois over the last few years," Bless said.
One of the biggest assets ICCVB provides Williamson County is the opportunity to participate in trade shows and promotional events that would normally be too expensive for the bureau to do ourselves.
ICCVB has long had three niche committees - Tour Illinois, Meet in Illinois and Sports Illinois - which focus on the motorcoach/group tour markets, the meetings and conventions market and sports tourism respectively. A new committee, Market Illinois, held its first meeting this week and besides providing professional development opportunities for the bureaus' marketing directors plans to start attending travel writer conferences.