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      Quincy area tourism gets an unexpected boost

      The visitors center welcomed more than 450 visitors in 2011.

      A shaky economy helped boost tourism in the Quincy area .

      More Midwest travelers stayed closer to home for vacations and ended up in the Tri-States. That boosted tourism in Adams County by seven percent in 2011.

      The increase brought in an additional $20,000 in grants for the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau .

      "We are an affordable destination. When times are tough Quincy can be ahead of the rest with cheaper rates for lodging, restaurants we've got a free museum pass, it's a great value. Our attractions are very affordable. We can outsell others just due to the affordability of our destination," Executive Director of the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Holly Cain said.

      With an unsteady economy, many people skipped long distance travel and extended hotel stays. Instead they end up spending one to two nights in Quincy. With the extra grant money the boost in tourism brought in, the Convention and visitors Bureau will continue to market the Quincy area as a vacation destination.

      "We've got some new long term attractions that we're able to market now, Gallery Salero, River Skate, the Go-Karts at Scotties Fun Spot, a vibrant downtown, over a hundred restaurants. We're working on a new culinary guide now," Cain said.

      Plans are in place to try to continue the growth. Tourism peaks during summer and fall events such as the Gus Macker basketball tournament and the Tin Dusters Color Drive. Now the focus is bringing in visitors during the winter months as well. Brochures are out promoting driving and private home tours covering some of the more than thirty-five hundred Quincy buildings on the National Register.

      "Those homes are here year-round and we're really featuring that 3665 campaign. That's the number of homes on the national register. I think that's a permanent draw for people and we're seeing that as they come into the visitors center, we're seeing that they're interested in our architecture now because they're hearing about it," Cain said.

      In the state of Illinois tourism increased by ten percent.