POSTED BY Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism
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CHICAGO – The 2018 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism kicked off Monday, February 26, in Chicago with the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards ceremony at the Palmer House Hilton. The awards honored Illinois’ passionate travel and tourism marketing teams with the best marketing initiatives of 2017.

Travel and tourism professionals from around the country judged submissions in eight categories, ranging from best social media marketing to best event or festival, with one exceptional entry receiving best of show. Each category contained a Budget A for organizations with annual operating budgets of $500,000 and above, and Budget B for organizations with budgets under $500,000. Two special recipients also received the Friend of Tourism award from Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, Cory Jobe, for their contributions to Illinois tourism.

Here are the 2018 Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award winners:

The Best of Show award goes to the submission that received the highest overall score from the judge’s panel, going above and beyond to execute a fully comprehensive event, initiative or campaign.

Travel and tourism drives significant contributions to Illinois’ economy. In 2016, Illinois welcomed 112 million visitors, which generated more than $38 billion in travel expenditures for the state. The success of state tourism each year couldn’t be accomplished without help from hospitality and tourism partners and stakeholders across the state.

This year’s Illinois Excellence in Tourism program, Jazzed About Tourism, was presented by Travel Channel. The Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism is taking place in Chicago, February 26-28, at the Palmer House Hilton. The conference unites state leaders, travel experts and special guests to share the latest innovative ideas for promoting travel.