Think of Visit Quad Cities as our region's coach and the organization's Tourism Master Plan as our strategy:
"It’s going to be the official play book for our region for how we’re going to tackle tourism in a 21st century economy, how we’re going to compete, how we’re going to do the things to move the community and region forward," said Dave Herrell, President/CEO of Visit Quad Cities during a live interview on Good Morning Quad Cities Wednesday, June 10th, 2020.
Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination marketing and management organization, is unveiling that "play book" today alongside Resonance Consultancy, a leading advisor in tourism, place strategy and branding, economic and real estate development.
"It’s been something that we’ve tried to engage the community with and all Quad Citizens in terms of helping us shape this plan," Herrell explained. There are functional areas and sections that give us intention as it relates to focus whether it’s a destination promotion, a destination development, destination programming, and governance - things like that."
The comprehensive process took a little over a year and included engagement and collaboration with industry stakeholders, Quad Citizens, visitors, and the community-at-large to realize the vision for the Quad Cities long-term tourism direction.
"I think there are going to be some things that we’ve been talking about for years that hopefully this will now give us the catalyst to move these things forward," he added.
Of course, there's been some hiccups along the way - a record-breaking flood and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Herrell says tourism is important - now more than ever before as our economy starts to recover:
"It builds brands, it builds a sense of pride, it creates this “bragability” factor, but it also drives business. It drives non-resident revenues, it drives economic impact, and it helps tell a story so if you’ve got a plan that’s comprehensive and can serve a community like the Quad Cities, then I think it’s a good thing to rally around so it’s going to be a great thing for our community."
"With this plan, it’s now time to get off the bench and do the things we need to do, because tourism will be a huge factor for recovery so if we’re not doing this, if we’re not doing this now, then I would argue - why are we even here?" he explained. "As we reopen, as the economy starts seeing a rebound, if we don’t have a meaningful plan and if we’re not putting action around that plan, then we’re not going to be competitive and we’re not going to be relevant as a region and we need to be if we want this to be a future that is thriving in 2030 and beyond."