Friday, June 23, 2017

Suburban Chicago alderman questions effectiveness of local convention bureau

The level of financial mismanagement in Illinois is staggering. Take for instance small town suburban convention and visitor bureaus. These sinecures are fed by collecting taxes from hotel room bookings. But do these bureaus fulfill their mission? Which is supposed to be attracting new business.

An alderman in St. Charles, a far-west suburb of Chicago, wants to know.

Here are two questions from me: If the convention bureau tax was less or completely eliminated, would that mean more people would come to St. Charles or any of these other places with convention and visitor bureaus? Hotel rooms would be cheaper.When are the efforts of these agencies, if ever, deciding factors for groups or travelers to make a booking decision?

As Illinois teeters towards bankruptcy-in-all but name, now is the time to start weeding. Convention and visitor bureaus are a good place to start. And besides, why can't hotels and restaurants create their own advertising and marketing? Why does government have to get involved?

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