This is National Travel and Tourism Week and several tourism bureaus throughout southern Illinois are joining forces to salute the power of travel.

Tourism and Hospitality Leaders Call for State Support, Guidance Amid COVID-19 Recovery

Apr 9, 2021

Leaders from the state’s tourism and hospitality industry asked legislators for additional support and reopening guidance during a Thursday committee hearing as the state plans next steps for its COVID-19 economic recovery.

Michael Jacobson, President and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, told the House Tourism Committee Thursday that hotels have “been among the hardest hit” segment of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the industry may not see a full recovery until 2024 at the earliest.

Restaurants, Hotels Call for Reopening Plan

Feb 19, 2021

Officials from the hotel, restaurant and convention industries told a state Senate panel Thursday that they need a clear plan for how they will be allowed to reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, warning that without such a plan, many will go out of business permanently.

“We need to know … a strategy, we need to know the metrics as we move forward because we cannot, we cannot lose another summer here in the state of Illinois,” Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, told the state Senate’s newly-formed Tourism and Hospitality Committee during its first virtual hearing.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Millions of dollars in tourism revenue could go to another state, if Illinois doesn't allow the annual Amateur Trapshooting Association's Grand American competition to be held in Sparta.  

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

State and local tourism officials gathered at Rendleman Orchards Farm Market on Wednesday July 18th, 2018 to honor the centennial farm with a plaque and admission into the Illinois Made Program.  

Marion To Host Colt Pony League World Series

Oct 30, 2017
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

For the last 47 years the Colt Pony League World Series has been  held in Lafayette, Indiana.  But starting in August, the World Series will be held in Marion.

  The stars have aligned for a national organization of Corvette enthusiasts holding its national convention in Bowling Green, Kentucky beginning Aug. 21.

Rend Lake Resort to Re-open

Jun 14, 2017
Jordan Maddox, WSIU Radio News

The Rend Lake Resort closed last December but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it will soon re-open.


As a part of our ongoing feature  "Enlightening The Eclipse: Countdown to 2017" we go to a community information planning meeting which was held on October 18th, 2016.  In this report we will hear from Carbondale Tourism, the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and the Development Commission and, officials with Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a local business manager.

Illinois Made Honors Three Local Makers

Sep 29, 2016
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

In July of 2016, the Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism launched the Illinois Made program, a tourism-building initiative designed to create nationwide, and worldwide awareness of the many small, unique southern Illinois businesses that make products uniquely from Illinois materials.

The Director of the Illinois  Office of Tourism's Director Cory Jobe recently visited three southern Illinois businesses to recognize them for their efforts and to present them with a commemorative  Illinois Made plaque which officially recognizes the business as being uniquely Illinoisan.

The three businesses recently honored and inducted into the Illinois Made program are:  Longshadow Gardens in Pomona Illinois,  Apple Knocker Hard Cider in Cobden and Scratch Brewing Company in Ava.  In this feature we visit with Jobe and the Owners of Scratch Brewing Company.

Near record numbers of Americans are buying second homes — the kind on wheels, that is.

The Great Recession almost totaled the RV industry, but now camper trailers and motor homes are popular again. Daryn Anderson is the owner of an RV dealership south of Kansas City, and he says his sales here have roughly tripled since the bottom of the recession.

"Business has been great. Six straight record years and no end in sight," he says. "We're excited."

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis!

City of Carbondale

Several Carbondale businesses recently partnered to help spruce up part of the city's downtown.

Illinois has seen another record year for tourism, with more than 99 million visitors from across the U.S. last year.

WSIU Radio

The Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau is almost back in business.

The city of Carbondale may enter into a short-term contract with the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau.

City Manager Kevin Baity says the city council will vote Tuesday night on allowing him to sign an agreement paying the bureau $75,000 to provide tourism services for 90 days.

The city severed ties with the tourism bureau in May due to concerns about transparency and other issues.

IL Dept. of Agriculture

Attendance was up nearly 15 percent at this year's Illinois State Fair.

State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick tells The State Journal-Register in Springfield attendees seemed to enjoy the mild weather after weeks of heat earlier in the summer. Attendance for the 10-day fair was just more than 844,000 this year. Last year it was about 735,600.

Bliefnick says attendance figures ``would have been very different'' if central Illinois had the triple-digit temperatures it saw in July.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller reports the morning's news and weather.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller has the morning's news and weather information.