Mission Statement, History & Funding
As the official destination management organization, the mission of the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is to market the communities within the Chicago Southland region as a meetings and leisure destination; soliciting conventions, exhibitions, sporting events and other related group business; engaging in visitor promotions including those which generate overnight stays for the region; promoting lodging, food and beverage, attractions, festivals and events; and other visitor related businesses; to promote and aid in tourism-related product development, thereby enhancing and developing the image, economic fabric and vitality of the Southland.
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau was founded in 1986 as a subsidiary of the Regional Economic Development Corporation (now known as the Chicago Southland Development, Inc.). In 1993, the Bureau separated from its parent organization and became an independent 501(c)6 organization. As a regional cooperative, the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau represents 62 south and southwest municipalities, approximately 35 miles south of downtown Chicago.
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is a regionally funded destination marketing organization. Its annual budget is composed of several funding sources. The State of Illinois recognizes the importance of tourism, and therefore provides the bureau with a state grant (Illinois is one of few states with a tourism grant program supporting convention and visitors bureaus). The Local Tourism Convention Bureau Grant program requires the recipient to match the grant funds dollar for dollar. The match funds are comprised of the following sources: First, the bureau has contracts with 19 municipalities to receive a portion of their transient hotel/motel room tax for marketing purposes. Second, the bureau has a growing membership which makes an annual investment in the bureau's programs. Third, the bureau develops resources including non-dues revenue to enhance and expand its programming responsibilities. Property tax or taxpayer dollars are not involved in any funding of the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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