Local tourism officials, business leaders, elected officials, and a representative from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity are gathering in Alton today to discuss the impact tourism has on the region.  The impact can be measured in the millions of dollars, with special events and local attractions drawing visitors from near and far to the Alton area, according to the head of the local tourism agency.

Brett Stawar, President of the Alton Regional Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, says they will take the opportunity with so many stakeholders together in one room to tout the efforts to bring more people to Madison, Jersey and Calhoun counties.

Click here for Stawar's comments

He says there is a total economic impact of nearly $23-million just from visitors that spend the night in those hotels.  That works out to about 170,000 overnight guests that stay in those properties each year.

(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com )