The Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has been celebrating National Travel & Tourism week all week long.
Executive Director Brittany Henry says people should be watching the bureau’s social media this week for special highlights of what makes it great to come to Jacksonville. The theme for the week has been “The Future of Travel.” The bureau has been doing a city tour on their social media where they’ve been showcasing a different, unique location in Jacksonville each day. There’s also been a Bingo game for families to complete by traveling to different locations in the Jacksonville throughout the week.
Henry says the week will be capped with a party tomorrow night with the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours at the bureau office at 310 East State Street from 4-6PM. Mayor Andy Ezard will give a brief speech about tourism in Jacksonville at 5PM. Since it’s Cinco de Mayo, there will be snacks and refreshments with that theme at the after hours get-together. Henry says though that the party will end a little early, as they are going to attempt to push visitors out to the Central Park Market happening at the same time on the Downtown Square: “We’ve created a fun little market card as well as some fun little swag items…There’s also a big event happening [tomorrow], which is the Central Park Market. We had already had our event scheduled and thought that this would be great. There are going to be businesses open late in downtown, so we shortened our event hours so we can push people out into the community to explore and experience that new event.”
Henry says it’s important that tourism and small business partner with each other, especially during recovery from the pandemic: “When you turn in our market card to us, you have a chance in a drawing to win a $250 Visa gift card. We hope that people will get out and explore this new event that will be happening the first Thursday of every month. The museum will be open across the street from us. There is going to be some local and area vendors and food trucks. There’s just alot of fun things happening tomorrow. With the future of travel, one of the things that we talk about with this recovery process is small business. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy, and those are businesses that our travelers like to experience when they are here visiting Jacksonville.”
Henry says according to a report from 2020, tourism supports 364 jobs in the area and $1.6 million in local tax revenue. Travelers to Jacksonville spent $50.6 million in 2020. Henry says the 2021 tourism figures will be released later this summer.
If you would like to RSVP to the Business After Hours tomorrow, RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-243-5678.