We celebrated the 21st Annual National Tourism Week at the Missouri Welcome Center in Marston and had a great time.
Monday morning, we loaded up complementary giveaways from Sikeston and Miner businesses and headed south to the Missouri Welcome Center located on Interstate-55 North at mile marker 42. The Welcome Center's Supervisor Jan Farrenburg allocated a section at the counter for the Sikeston and Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau where we greeted visitors as they came in.
We gave out door prizes from Lambert's Café, discount coupons from the Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, free admission tickets to Granny's Antiques and coupons from Susie's offering a free desert with purchase of a meal. There were helium-filled balloons and stickers with the logo "Tourism Works for America" for the kids.
Popular will everyone was the corn we popped. Within a two hour period, we popped and gave away eight pounds of corn. Exactly 389 people traveling in 164 vehicles came through the Welcome Center that day and all were extremely appreciative the tourism industry of Missouri went to such efforts.
Several stated they had never been to a welcome center where people were so friendly and accommodating.
The CVB's staff was very welcomed by the employees of the state and impressed by their professionalism and friendliness. The employees were courteous and precise in their manner of welcoming visitors to Missouri, encouraging them to spend more time and money in Southeast Missouri.
Also they provide information, brochures, maps and other literature as requested and consult with visitors to identify destinations, attractions and objectives of their visit. The staff stays up-to-date on Missouri's tourism attractions and current events, as well as local road conditions.
By the time we returned to the office that day, we found local businesses were already receiving feedback from our efforts to celebrate National Tourism week.