Tour the Town
The work that the travel and tourism industry does is vital to the economy. In 2017, Bloomington-Normal had 220,000 visitors and 44,611 hotel room nights, which generated an economic impact of $6,959,316. For every $1 of hotel tax received, $10.04 was returned to the local economy. Nationally, tourism is a $2.1 trillion industry. The industry is the seventh largest employer in the United States, supporting 1 in 9 jobs.
National Travel & Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the travel industry. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals from across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy and businesses. To celebrate, the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has created a new event, Tour the Town. From May 5-20, participants can snap selfies of themselves visiting our participating attractions. By posting them to Instagram and using the hashtag #BNTourismWeek, the Convention and Visitors Bureau will be able to judge the photos based on creativity and quantity of attractions visited. The winner will receive a gift basket that will include dinner for two at DESTIHL, two tickets to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, a gift certificate to Carl’s Ice Cream and four passes to Miller Park Zoo.
It’s easy to forget Bloomington-Normal’s world- class culture and small-town rural charm when you’re living smack dab in the middle of it. We wanted to highlight our area’s major attractions and encourage residents to be a tourist in their own town. Our participating attractions include:
– Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, the centerpiece of the city’s Cultural District
– Children’s Discovery Museum, whose exhibits can keep kids busy for hours on end
– Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, which provides a time capsule for visitors
– David Davis Mansion, home of friend and mentor to Lincoln, David Davis
– DESTIHL Brewery, which features 48 taps
– Ewing Cultural Center, home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival
– McLean County Museum of History, located on the National Register of Historic Places
– Miller Park Zoo, the only zoo located on Route 66
– Normal Theater, originally opened in 1937
– Pepsi Ice Center, offers numerous skating classes and programs
– Ryburn Place, a gift shop located inside Sprague’s Super Service
Grab your selfie stick and be a tourist in your own town. We can’t wait to see your photos!