Area tourism boards team up for summer campaign

  • Discover DuPage is part of a digital summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." This branded Instagram posting is part an effort by nine area tourism organizations to encourage travel to northeastern Illinois.

    Discover DuPage is part of a digital summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." This branded Instagram posting is part an effort by nine area tourism organizations to encourage travel to northeastern Illinois. Courtesy of Discover DuPage/DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • The upcoming College of DuPage exhibit "Frida Kahlo: Timeless" in Glen Ellyn is being promoted by Discover DuPage as part of a regional summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You."

    The upcoming College of DuPage exhibit "Frida Kahlo: Timeless" in Glen Ellyn is being promoted by Discover DuPage as part of a regional summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Maxx Force roller coaster is at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, which is being promoted by Visit Lake County as part of a regional tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You."

    Maxx Force roller coaster is at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, which is being promoted by Visit Lake County as part of a regional tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." Courtesy of Six Flags Great America

  • Top Golf in Schaumburg is one of the attractions being promoted by Meet Northwest Chicago as part of a regional tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You."

    Top Golf in Schaumburg is one of the attractions being promoted by Meet Northwest Chicago as part of a regional tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Nine area tourism organizations have teamed up for a digital summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." It encourages travel to northeastern Illinois.

    Nine area tourism organizations have teamed up for a digital summer tourism campaign called "The Only Thing Missing is You." It encourages travel to northeastern Illinois. Courtesy of Visit Chicagoland

 
 
Updated 5/26/2021 4:36 PM

Nine tourism organizations in Chicago and the suburbs have joined forces to launch a digital summer campaign encouraging people to spend their vacation dollars in northeastern Illinois.

"The Only Thing Missing is You" is the slogan for the campaign running across social media platforms and the redesigned website visitchicagoland.com through the end of August. It targets out-of-state visitors and local residents to support attractions and businesses within a one-hour drive of downtown Chicago.

 

"The true value of this regional approach is to maximize the number of eyeballs that see this campaign," said Beth Marchetti, the executive director of DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB).

The partnering tourism organizations are: Chicago Southland, Chicago's North Shore, Choose Chicago, Discover DuPage (part of the DCVB), Explore Elgin Area, Heritage Corridor, Meet Chicago Northwest, Visit Lake County and Visit McHenry County.

The groups were all included last year as part of a Regional Economic Recovery Task Force convened by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

"Tourism and leisure is a cornerstone of our economy, creating jobs and supporting businesses across northeastern Illinois," said CMAP executive director Erin Aleman. "By showcasing our many attractions for visitors and residents alike, we can accelerate our region's economic recovery."

Marchetti acknowledges that area tourism organizations would typically be in friendly competition to win over corporate and group meeting businesses. But this summer, she said, there is a need to "lift all boats" by sharing a unifying message and marketing across each organization's social media platforms.

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"What's lovely about the campaign is that we're all equally represented," Marchetti said.

For Discover DuPage's component of the campaign, Marchetti said two major art exhibitions are being promoted: College of DuPage's "Frida Kahlo: Timeless" exhibit in Glen Ellyn and the new "Human+Nature" outdoor sculpture exhibit at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Visit Lake County is promoting the full reopening of Six Flags Great America and Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee as part of the campaign. There are also plans to highlight Lake County's beaches and boating as summer progresses.

"We all have funding challenges right now and this is a chance to maximize investment and work together to bring travelers back," said Maureen Riedy, the president of Visit Lake County.

Reidy said "The Only Thing Missing is You" campaign also dovetails nicely with a statewide tourism campaign from Enjoy Illinois. That's called "Time for Me to Drive," which specifically encourages Illinois road trips.

"We've all seen over the course of last year how important the hospitality and tourism industry is to the economy," she said. "We've got to get visitors and residents back out to experience our attractions and restaurants."

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