Although National Travel and Tourism Week runs through Saturday, the Quad-Cities needs more visitors each of the other 51 weeks of the year.
First, hotels need more visitors. Any resident can notice the large number of new hotels that are under construction in the Quad-Cities. The destination will soon have 6,000 hotel rooms, which investors are betting will be filled each and every night. That will take a town the size of Geneseo visiting the Quad Cities every day — day in, day out — to fill those hotel rooms.
Then, restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, museums, attractions, airlines, rental car companies and more thrive when there is a robust and substantial travel industry in our community.
Then, local governments enjoy the benefits of taxes and fees paid by those visitors — hotel/motel taxes, property taxes, business license fees, sales taxes, casino taxes, parking fees, motor fuel taxes, food and beverage taxes, and more. Residents get tax relief from every visitor who comes to town and pays taxes instead of the locals.
Then, schools and students benefit. Local option sales taxes collect a one-percent sales taxes for schools not just from residents, but from visitors as well. Leisure visitors, sports teams, meeting and convention attendees, motorcoach passengers and more invest in our schools and students when they visit. If those same visitors go to other destinations, the investment occurs there, not here.
"Then and Now" is the theme of this year's National Travel and Tourism Week, but remember "there and here." It does make a difference where visitors decide to go and where to spend their vacation dollars. We need to keep the Quad-Cities front and center in this highly competitive industry.
Editor's note: Taylor is outgoing CEO of Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.