If you notice people taking notes at attractions and snapping pictures of their food at restaurants in the next few weeks, you might be seeing a travel writer in the city.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting five members of the Society of American Travel Writers May 7-9 and several bloggers with www.USFamilyGuide.com will be in the city with their families in May and June. A writer with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also is visiting the city in June.
The writers will visit several attractions, including Relics Antique Mall & Relics Antique Tea Room. Owner Beverly Robb said she’s excited about the potential exposure for her business and Springfield.
“Kudos to the Convention & Visitors Bureau staff for the time and effort involved to bring travel writers and bloggers to Springfield,” Robb said. “The Springfield CVB's constant work helps the Springfield business community to thrive, which in turn helps provide stable jobs, enhancing our local economy. My husband and I appreciate their efforts immensely."
Bringing travel journalists to the city in an effort to garner positive publicity for Springfield as a travel destination is one of many marketing and public relations programs the CVB does to promote the city.
Others include a nearly $1 million advertising campaign directed at leisure travelers; a sales department dedicated to bringing conventions, sports and other group events to the city; a website - www.SpringfieldMO.org - providing comprehensive information about things to see, places to eat and where to stay in Springfield; social media campaigns; operating the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center and an information center at the Springfield-Branson National Airport; and many others.
It’s all designed to grow the local economy through growth in travel and tourism, an $11.6 billion industry in Missouri that provides jobs, business income and tax revenue throughout the state.
An estimated 3 million overnight visitors come to Springfield annually along with thousands of day trip visitors. In Greene County, more than 19,000 people are employed in hospitality and leisure positions and more than $622 million in direct tourism-related expenditures are generated each year.
Those are some of the numbers the CVB is celebrating during National Travel & Tourism Week May 2-10.
During the annual celebration of the travel industry, the bureau also is providing complimentary popcorn, soft drinks, coloring books, Route 66 stickers and wooden nickels to visitors at the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center, 815 E. St. Louis St. Local residents are invited to drop in and learn more about travel and tourism in Springfield.