More than a dozen organizations in Iowa and Illinois are joining together to promote the middle Mississippi River Valley region in a new initiative. The new “Travel Mississippi River” partnership is comprised of convention & visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce along the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois from Dubuque, Iowa, south to Quincy, Illinois.

The groups began meeting last fall. The result of the efforts to date is the launch of a website, designed to highlight each participating community and to create connections among the communities to form a complete Mississippi River destination between the bi-state cities and towns. Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Anne Schmidt says this effort helps put Clinton on the map for more tourism.

“People can actually go to the website and click on Clinton and we have highlighted some of our restaurants and other attractions,” Schmidt says. “That will be rotated on a regular basis.” Schmidt says there is no a guarantee of more visitors, but the extra promotion should benefit Clinton and the entire region.

She says even local residents can benefit from the website as they might like to go on a daytrip and see what attractions are nearby. Heather Bennett, the chamber director for Fulton, Illinois, says this is a unique collaboration and a good partnership providing a way to highlight area attractions.

She says instead of an us-versus-them attitude, this provides a way for all of the region’s communities to work together and pool their resources. The partners include: Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, Savanna Chamber of Commerce, Blackhawk Waterways Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of LeClaire/LeClaire Tourism, City of Port Byron, Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, Muscatine Convention & Visitors Bureau, Henderson County Economic Development Corp., Greater Burlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, Fort Madison Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Keokuk Convention & Tourism Bureau, Nauvoo Tourism Office, Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton