Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves
The Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Tourism Department, the CVB, the ECVB, Visit Evansville, those people in the pagoda with all the maps... Our organization has had a variety of names over the years since our official formation in 1983. We have seen our beloved city through so much, and we look forward to continuing our service under a new name, Explore Evansville. It is our hope that as we transition into our new identity, our community is inspired that whether you’re a native or a newbie, we are all explorers.
Why The Change?
If you look at the logo we previously have used, you will notice some notes from our past, like the double “L” of “Evansville” representing the smokestacks of the riverboat that previously housed Casino Aztar, and the phrase “Visit” representing our focus on the tourism industry. With our new identity, we wanted to capture and honor the spirit of our city. From our early days as a thriving commercial town with river trade, to the manufacturing powerhouse that supported the efforts of WWII, Evansville has always been a major center of industry and inspiration. And it’s through that pioneering spirit that our River City continues to evolve.
Our organization has and will continue to roll out the red carpet for our visitors and collaborate with our partners in the hospitality industry. But now, we also want to spend a little more time working with our best salespeople, our own local community. Through those efforts and redesigned resources, we encourage you to discover your inner explorer and find something new or revive something forgotten in Evansville, Indiana.
What We Do, and Why We Do It
The hospitality and tourism industry is a critical contributor to the local economy in Evansville, Indiana. From hotels and restaurants to attractions and events, our industry generates jobs, revenue, and economic growth that benefits visitors and local citizens alike. As the City and County’s official tourism bureau, Explore Evansville is what’s referred to as a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). A DMO serves to work collaboratively with local governments, tourism boards and industry stakeholders to develop and execute strategies for attracting visitors and driving economic growth. By showcasing our unique attractions, cultural heritage, infrastructure, and business opportunities, Explore Evansville aims to enhance the overall visitor experience, foster sustainable tourism practices, and position our region as a desirable and competitive choice for leisure, business, and events tourism.
How Explore Evansville is Funded
Like most DMOs across the country, Explore Evansville is funded predominantly through accommodation and tourism taxes. Vanderburgh County carries an 8% Innkeeper’s Tax that is divided into 3 separate funds: a Tourism Capital Improvement fund which directs 3.5% towards tourism infrastructure, a Convention Center Operating fund which receives 2% to support Old National Events Plaza operations, and finally, a Promotional Fund at 2.5% that supports Explore Evansville’s operations and promotional activities. So how exactly does Explore Evansville use those funds?
Explore Evansville Advocates for Our Community and Promotes Our Destination
Explore Evansville functions as a sales and marketing agency with a focus on promoting the city and driving tourism. Some of our essential functions include:
Event Promotion: Explore Evansville plays a significant role in attracting and promoting major events, conferences, and conventions to Evansville. We do this by showcasing the city's venues, facilities, and hospitality services to event organizers and marketing the destination as a prime location for hosting successful events.
Partnership Development: We establish and nurture partnerships with meeting and event planners from all over the country to identify new tourism-related business and retain existing customers. We also collaborate with local stakeholders, including hotels, restaurants, attractions and retailers to enhance the experience of our city and showcase the best of what we have to offer.
Visitor Services: Explore Evansville provides comprehensive visitor services to assist tourists in planning their trips. We offer a variety of resources including maps, brochures, and guides to help visitors navigate the region and access relevant information about their travel needs and surroundings.
Marketing and Advertising: We implement marketing strategies and advertising campaigns to increase awareness of the Evansville Region as a desirable destination. Nowadays, that includes utilizing various channels such as digital media, social media, print media, television, and radio to reach potential visitors and target markets.
Research and Analysis: More recently, Explore Evansville conducts geo-tracking research and is constantly gathering data on visitor demographics, behaviors, and market trends. By analyzing this information, we are more equipped than ever to make informed decisions about marketing strategies, target audiences, and initiatives to further develop and grow the tourism industry in the Evansville Region.
How Explore Evansville Directly Invests in the Community
Along with the economic impact that comes with direct and indirect business sales resulting from events held in our community, Explore Evansville’s Tourism Capital Improvement fund is a part of our unique legislation that provides for the funding of projects that directly impact our tourism infrastructure. Since 1995, our DMO has invested over $40 million in brick-and-mortar projects throughout Vanderburgh County, including the construction of Deaconess Sports Park and capital improvements at Goebel Soccer Complex, expansions and renovations at several area museums, support of new exhibits at Mesker Park Zoo, the BMX track at Burdette Park, enhancements throughout Downtown Evansville, artwork at Evansville Regional Airport (EVV), land purchases for future development and so much more.
Why Are YOU, Our Local Neighbors, Friends and Relatives Our Most Important Tourism Advocates?
Local community members being tourism advocates can contribute to the economic, social and cultural well-being of our region in many ways:
Economic Benefits: Tourism can bring significant economic benefits to a destination, including increased job opportunities, business growth, and revenue generation. Local community members who act as tourism advocates can help promote our destination, attracting more visitors and encouraging them to explore local attractions, accommodations, and businesses.
Diversifying the Tax Base: Explore Evansville’s efforts indirectly help relieve the tax burden on local constituents by helping to fund local infrastructure development, public services and other projects and initiatives. As tourism grows and develops, revenue generated from related activities can contribute to a broader base for public funding rather than relying solely on local taxpayers.
Preservation of Heritage and Culture: Tourism advocates from our local community can actively promote and preserve our destination's unique cultural heritage and rich history. You can educate visitors about local traditions, historical sites, arts, and crafts, fostering a sense of appreciation and respect. By showcasing and valuing our heritage, we can protect and promote it for future generations.
Community Pride and Identity: There is no better publicity than locals taking an active role in promoting and celebrating our community. Your sense of pride and identity contributes to a stronger community spirit and fosters a positive environment for both residents and visitors. Tourism advocates can highlight the hidden gems, local stories, and authentic experiences that make their destination special, fostering a deeper connection between visitors and the local community.
Quality of Life: A thriving tourism industry can have spillover effects that improve the quality of life for our local community. Increased tourism can lead to the development of better infrastructure, more vibrant amenities, and public services that benefit both residents and visitors alike. By advocating for tourism, you indirectly advocate for the improvement of your own living conditions and the overall well-being of the community.
In conclusion, as we embark on this new chapter as Explore Evansville, we are filled with excitement and optimism. Together, as a community, we can embrace our role as tourism advocates and showcase the beauty, history, and vibrant spirit of our beloved community. By supporting Explore Evansville and promoting our destination, you not only boost our local economy but also preserve our heritage, strengthen our community pride, and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Let us unite as explorers and share the wonders of the Evansville Region. Together, we can shape a brighter future for our community and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.