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Herrell Testifies to Illinois Senate Committee

Dave Herrell at the Illinois Senate
Dave Herrell at the Illinois Senate

Even as the pandemic seems to be winding down, it's going to take a long time for travel and tourism to recover. That was the message Thursday to the Illinois General Assembly from tourism and convention organizations around the state.

Dave Herrell, President and CEO of Visit Quad Cities, is also Board Chair of the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. He met with a Senate committee

"We don't think we're going to get revenues back to 2019 levels until at least fiscal year '24, but then the Illinois Department of Revenue, in looking at the hotel-motel tax that flows in to the state, they're really projecting fiscal year '25."

He expects leisure travel will recover faster than travel for meetings, events, conventions, and conferences.

"Sometimes people aren't booking until 2024, 2025, 2026 and beyond. So it takes a lot of time to cultivate these relationships."

And it's not just COVID limiting travel and tourism in Illinois and the US, there's also inflation and rising gas prices.

The Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus includes 37 organizations from Chicago and all of downstate.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.