Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week in Southwest Illinois


(Alton, IL- May 9, 2023) Join the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau and KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis with a special celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week during a Great Day On the Road live show 9 a.m. Friday, May 12 at The Loading Dock, 401 E. Front St., Grafton. The public is invited to attend this free event. Doors open at 8 a.m.

Breakfast treats and coffee will be available from Duke Bakery, Kruta Bakery, 222 Artisan, Goshen Coffee and Idle Roasting.

National Travel & Tourism Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry and spotlights the essential role travels plays in driving economic growth and innovation.

The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau teamed up with KMOV’s Great Day to showcase the six county Bureau region including the Last 100 Miles of Route 66, Collinsville attractions, the Great River Road, outdoor recreation, haunted tours, the Madison County Transit trail system, Aerie’s Resort and more. In addition to live interviews on Friday, Great Day is featuring daily segments about the region leading up to the Friday show.

“There is so much to see and do in the Great Rivers & Routes region of southwest Illinois,” Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the tourism bureau noted. “National Travel & Tourism Week is a great opportunity to highlight our region and the way tourism continues to drive economic growth and innovation. Partnering with Great Day St. Louis helps us tell our story in a fun and compelling way.”

The Loading Dock in Grafton will host the live Great Day On the Road show with its magnificent views of the Mississippi River. The public is encouraged to attend the show and enjoy the breakfast available from local bakeries and coffee roasters.

In addition to the Great Day live show, the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau will celebrate all week with giveaways at the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton beginning Wednesday and running through Friday, May 12.

Established in 1983, NTTW is an annual tradition to mark the U.S. travel industry’s role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, stimulating business activity and elevating the quality of life for everyday Americans.

“The travel industry fuels every industry—our industry’s success is the nation’s success,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “This week is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward.”

Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries. The U.S. travel industry generated a $2.6 trillion economic output in 2022 and supported 15 million jobs, fueling communities, small businesses and working families across the country.

Travel spending also generated nearly $160 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2022—revenue that helped fund critical public services while saving each U.S. household an average of $1,270 in taxes.

In the Great Rivers & Routes region of southwest Illinois the travel industry drives tens of thousands of industry jobs, supports hundreds of small businesses and visitor spending topped $700 million in 2022 in the six-county region.

“Travel is at the heart of the Metro North region in southwest Illinois, powering a strong economy, creating jobs and strengthening our community’s culture and identity. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we are proud to celebrate all that travel does for our communities now, and all that it will contribute in the future,” Mr. Jobe said.

(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties and East St. Louis in St. Clair County. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)