Carbondale Tourism to Focus More on Visitors Closer to Home

Jan 19, 2018

The Carbondale City Council is directing the town's tourism agency to narrow its focus.

Carbondale Tourism executive director Cinnamon Wheeles -Smith says her organization has been working to attract visitors to town for overnight stays. But, now she says the City Council is wanting it to just get people to town for the day, or hopefully for longer.

"We've been focusing a lot on the Chicago area, Wisconsin, Michigan, and obviously that is because those folks would need to come here for an overnight stay. But, the Council would like us to look more in a smaller radius, maybe 100-150 miles. So, that people can come to Carbondale for an event, but they don't necessarily have to stay all night. They could go home."

Smith says they will try to re-establish the home of SIU as a fun place to be.
"If we can start small and get that down pat, then the larger, farther-distance travelers are sure to come. Because, once you go to an event and you have a fantastic time, you tell people about it and then those people feel like they've missed out on something and so they mark their calendars for the next time."
Smith says the decreased enrollment at SIU has greatly impacted the city's economy and this will hopefully boost revenue.

She says tourism officials will work closely with other local non-profits to try to create three new festivals in town and to make sure multiple groups don't schedule competing events on the same weekend.