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Chicago Tourism Jobs Could be Created by Marketing Quad Cities

Posted on December 18, 2008

A new interest in visiting Chicago and surrounding cities could create new Chicago tourism jobs.

The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau
recently hired Ruf Strategic Solutions to create a report on people interested in visiting the Quad Cities, which include Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Ill. The results showed that 1 million potential tourists – including 300,000 in the Chicago area – would be interested in visiting, according to an article by MarketWatch.

“We want to understand the people who travel to the Quad Cities so we can market more effectively to them and find even more visitors like them,” Charlotte Morrison, vice president of marketing and communications, said in the article. “Ruf helped us understand the travel habits of our tourists: how long they stay here, their level of disposable income and what activities they enjoy while on vacation.”

The fact that so many people in the Chicago area are interested in visiting the Quad Cities has brought up the idea of restoring passenger rail service to and from the city, which could create more Chicago jobs. Passenger rail service would allow travelers to ride the train, lowering costs as many people can’t afford to fly, while at the same time increase tourism in the Quad Cities. The information from the report also is being used to market the idea of traveling to the Quad Cities to “best visitors,” or those who spend more, stay longer and come back more frequently.

“If you know who your best visitors are, you can align your marketing to find clones of those people across the nation to increase your visitation,” Mike Mahoney, account development director of Ruf Strategic Solutions, said in the article. “The key to effectively marketing to them is to understand their interests and preferences.”