by Jessica Waytenick • December 28, 2011

14organizations in Iowa and Illinois have come together to jointly promote themiddle Mississippi River Valley region in a new initiative. 

Thenew 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. 

Thisnew marketing and promotional effort provides a strong, local voice for these bi-statecommunities along the Mississippi River and will generate strong partnerships amongthe communities through joint marketing, public relations, and advertisingefforts designed to increase national attention and travel to this region ofthe Mississippi River and the Great River Road.

Partnersinclude: Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention& Visitors Bureau; Bellevue Chamber of Commerce; Savanna Chamber ofCommerce, Blackhawk Waterways Convention & Visitors Bureau, Fulton Chamberof Commerce/City of Fulton, Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau,Muscatine Convention & Visitors Bureau, Henderson County EconomicDevelopment Corp., Greater Burlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, FortMadison Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Keokuk Convention & TourismBureau, Nauvoo Tourism Office, Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Travel Mississippi River partnership is a grass rootsinitiative that was launched in October 2009 when these organizations cametogether to voluntarily work as a team to develop the tourism product offeredalong this beautiful stretch of the Mississippi River. 

The result of these efforts to date is the launch of a newwebsite at and a Facebook page underTravel Mississippi River.  The site isdesigned to highlight each participating community, and to create connections amongthe communities to form a complete Mississippi River destination between the bi-statecities and towns in Iowa and Illinois.  Thenew site features a trip planner that includes Culinary, Girlfriends Getaways,History & Heritage, and Outdoor Recreation themed itineraries.  More themed trips will be added in thefuture.

Futureplans for the Travel Mississippi River partnership include the development of apromotional brochure to be jointly distributed by all 15 organizations, a cooperativeadvertising program, and joint travel journalist visits.

Whilethe effort focuses on leisure travelers, the partnership plans to also work todevelop group tour promotions for the hundreds of motorcoach buses that travel tothis region of the Mississippi River. 

"Icommend these communities for focusing on the tremendous asset they share andrecognizing they will all benefit by working together to promote the Mississippi River. The new web site will be an excellenttool to keep people in the region longer," said Shawna Lode, Iowa TourismOffice Manager.

“TheTravel Mississippi River partnership is a creative way to increase tourismalong the Great River Roadand to Illinois,” said Jan Kostner, deputydirector, IllinoisOffice of Tourism, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Seekingways to pool marketing resources in this tough economy, this new coalitionrecognized the benefits of working together on cross-promoting the entire bi-stateregion.

“A unified partnership within our region and itscommunities will enhance the traveler’s experience.  From big city excitementto small town hospitality—the traveler will be able to experience it all whiletraveling the scenic Great River Road and exploring the mighty Mississippi!  www.TravelMississippiRiver.orgwill be a wonderful tool to market, promote, and connect the communities withthe travelers,” said Carrie Koelker, Eastern Iowa Tourism Office ExecutiveDirector.

Asthe third largest river in the world and the second most-visited U.S. natural resource (after the Grand Canyon),the Mississippiis truly a sight to behold.  Experience thepower and mystique of the river that captivated Mark Twain.  See the mighty Mississippi River while traveling therolling hills and majestic countryside of the Great River Road in Illinoisand Iowa inorder to see what each town has to offer. 

In2009, National Geographic Travelernamed the Great River Roadfrom Minneapolis to Davenport as one of the 50 “Drives of aLifetime.”  With the museums andattractions that have cropped up along the way, it is “not only one of the mostscenic drives in the country, but also one of the culturally richest.”  Through its charming river townsand metropolitan cities, historic sites and cultural artifacts, today's Great River Roadlinks resources, people and history.

The Travel Mississippi Riverpartnership invites you to learn about the history that made each community whatit is today.  They encourage you to taketime to take advantage of the great parks, trails, gardens, and natural wonderswhile enjoying the wealth of attractions, historic sites, quaint shops, and fun-filledfestivals along the mighty river.  Also,be sure to tempt your tastebuds with the local, family-owned restaurants,wineries, and micro-breweries along the way.


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