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Visit Chicago Southland wins Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Best Website

Visit Chicago Southland has won the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Best Website Budget A. The recognition came during the 2024 Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism in Peoria, Illinois.

The three-day Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism—the state’s premier educational and networking conference for tourism industry professionals—gathered more than 360 tourism and hospitality leaders, travel experts and visionaries at the Peoria Civic Center to explore the latest industry trends and insights that contribute to tourism.

“Awards such as this 2024 Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Best Website Budget A give us pride and validation that our efforts to help promote and grow tourism in the Chicago Southland area are worthwhile,” said Visit Chicago Southland President/CEO Jim Garrett. “Our team cares deeply for this region and its people.”

“The overall purpose of the Visit Chicago Southland website is to create and maintain an enhanced tool for travelers and event planners looking for a destination that offers a wide variety of accommodations, venues, things to see and do, festivals and events,” said Garrett. “ represents the voice of the Chicago Southland and a digital guidebook for ventures to the area.”

Visit Chicago Southland is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs. It nationally markets and sells the Chicago Southland region as a destination for meetings and conventions, group tours, sports events and leisure travel.

Budget A organizations operate on annual budgets of $750,000 and above. The Chicago Southland project was judged on nine categories: niche targeting, social media marketing, branding initiative, cooperative partnership, event or festival, website, tourism marketing, printed collateral, and PR campaign, plus an overall Best of Show.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker—one of the conference’s speakers—emphasized the fiscal dependence on drawing tourists to his state: “As Governor, I’m always proud to boast Illinois’ impressive tourism industry, which thrives as a cultural and economic benefit to our state. Thank you to all the travel and tourism professionals across Illinois, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to welcome visitors and make this industry stronger than ever before.”

Notable enhancements to Visit Chicago Southland’s website include AI-powered accessibility widgets, Plan Your Trip interface, interactive video, 360-degree virtual tour videos for area amenities, mobile device responsiveness, a downloadable app, heightened photo-driven navigation, and more user-generated content.

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