“You are one of the first people in the universe to receive one of these,” said Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau (QCCVB), the official tourism destination marketing and management organization for the Quad-Cities region.
It was Jan. 3, and Joe, without doubt the most enthusiastic cheerleader for the Quad-Cities and vicinity, proudly handed me a hot-off-the-press, full-color, 56-page booklet, the QCCVB’s new Quad-Cities Activity Guide.
Joe and I have been friends for a long time. We have a lot in common.
For one thing, he has a background in journalism and is superb in his dealings with the media. We also both share an interest in the sport of auto racing.
But most importantly we both believe strongly in tourism and that every community in this area — not just the larger ones — benefits when people visit the Quad-Cities and spend their entertainment dollars at tourist attractions, stores, restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters and hotels and motels.
Tourism is big business, too: Visitors generated an economic impact of $810 million from more than 1.6 million visitors to the Quad-Cities in 2012.
As I thumbed through the new booklet, Joe called attention to its new name. In the past it was known as the Quad-Cities Visitors Guide. Now it’s the Quad-Cities Activity Guide.
Joe explained the reason for the change — it’s not just visitors to this area who use this guide — and that makes sense.
The guide is used by visitors, residents, group tour planners, meeting/convention planners, sports tournament planners, business recruiters and the media as a resource for information on the Quad-Cities and the things to see and do in the region.
The cover and interior page design of the guide also complement the new community brand – Marvels on the Mississippi — the QCCVB introduced last fall.
“The process used to build the new brand focused on understanding what makes the region unique,” according to a recent news release. “This research led to defining the Quad Cities’ most relevant and engaging brand attributes: the Mississippi River, festivals, special events, live music, casinos, affordability, Midwestern hospitality and the fact that the area seems easy to navigate.”
If you’d like a print version of the Quad-Cities Activity Guide, they are available free by ordering from the QCCVB website, visitquadcities.com, by calling the QCCVB at (309) 277-0937 or (800) 747-7800, or by visiting one of the QCCVB visitor centers in the Quad-Cities.
An online version of the Activity Guide is available at visitquadcities.com and is mobile accessible.
More than 110,000 copies of the guide are distributed annually. Last year’s online version of the guide was viewed almost 10,000 times during 2013.
Copyright 2014, by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. This piece was submitted as a column to The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa.