The business of bringing people to town never has been easy — at least not for communities our size.

For 20 years, the same head of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau has been on a mission to convince outsiders that we are worth a look.

Joe Taylor's job is to attract tourists who will stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, visit our attractions and, of course, spend money while enjoying what the Quad-Cities has to offer. In recent years, though, tourism leaders have learned they must spend money to make money. Organizers behind conventions and sports tournaments now expect financial incentives when choosing their venues. And the heated-up competition means tourism bureaus have to be wiling to pay up — even as dollars dwindle.

Budget blows and new demands are stretching Taylor's staff. At the same time, though, the Quad-Cities has more to offer tourists than ever before.

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