The Alton Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau says tourism numbers continue to be encouraging in the midst of the extended economic doldrums.  The bureau recently shared some statistics that shows tourism around the state, and especially here in the Riverbend, continues to be an industry that is not seeing the devastating effects that other industries are in this economy.


Brett Stawar, CVB President, says tourism is up in the area by about 1.7% over this time last year.  He says that means in just the main four hotels in Alton, 170,000 overnight guests were reported over the past 12 months. 


Stawar comments


He says much of the credit can go to getting the word out through non-advertising strategies.  Travel writers have been steadily visiting the Riverbend as a result of information forwarded to them by the CVB, and locally produced travel articles have been accepted by national publications.  He also says Facebook has been a big help to their online efforts.