Visit Champaign County, a certified destination marketing organization through the Illinois Office of Tourism, approached officials at the City of Monticello, the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Monticello Main Street to bring the organizations’ sales and marketing expertise to further drive traffic to the community, located just outside Champaign County lines. Monticello boasts a broad offering to visitors, from the Monticello Railway Museum to the historic Courthouse Square, featuring dozens of local restaurants, galleries and shops.
“Monticello adds many great attractions to our promotions that only extends East Central Illinois as a regional destination for visitors,” explains Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing with Visit Champaign County. “With its historic homes and Main Street, the Monticello Railway Museum and fantastic events such as the MonticelloBration, we have an outstanding story to tell to visitors. By incorporating Monticello into our existing sales and marketing efforts, we hope to increase awareness amongst tour operators, meeting planners and leisure travelers who are already bringing business to the area.”
“Monticello is a vibrant small town with unique shops, historic districts, parks, restaurants and museums—perfect for a day exploring or a weekend enjoying unique experiences,” states Denise Flaar, Monticello Chamber of Commerce Director. “The partnership with Visit Champaign County allows for more people to learn about and experience a hidden gem right in their backyard.”
Visit Champaign County will immediately begin promoting Monticello through their existing channels—various industry tradeshows such as the African American Travel Conference and the ISAE Annual Meeting, print and online marketing though TourOperator.com and Midwest Living, and various other marketing opportunities. Monticello tourism-related businesses will also receive listings on visitchampaigncounty.org as well as the option to participate in the Discounts & Deals program, the Wooden Nickel program during the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon and much more.
"Visitors don’t recognize geographical boundaries,” states Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “We’re committed to working with our neighboring communities through our Regional Marketing Partnership Program to truly tell the story of our region and the diverse offerings available to visitors.”
Visit Champaign County is funded through strategic partnerships—City of Champaign, University of Illinois, Champaign County, City of Urbana, Parkland College, Villages of Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet and St. Joseph—as well as corporate partnerships with Illinois American Water, Busey, The News-Gazette, McDonald’s, Carle, Urbana Park District, Robeson Family Benefit Fund and the University of Illinois Community Credit Union, and regional marketing partners, Allerton Park & Retreat Center and the City of Monticello. Tourism grants are also funded through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.