PEORIA (WEEK) -- The Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau has announced a new name for their organization -- "Discover Peoria."
Honoring the traditions of the past, but looking to rediscover the area's new identity. That is the mission behind the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau rebranding from "Enjoy Peoria" to "Discover Peoria."
Known as "Enjoy Peoria" since 2014, the process to rebrand began about a year ago, looking to attract not only new faces to Central Illinois, but keep the old.
"What was forgotten can be remembered, what was old can be new again so it's part of the rediscovery." said President and CEO for PACVB J.D. Dalfonso, "To embrace our presence as the “Urban Heart of the Prairie State” and as “Illinois’ River City."
In creating its new identity with the help of marketing company Simpleview, Peoria area leaders said they’re aiming to create a message that could cross all marketing platforms.
"Most destination tourism is really reliant on the local community really embracing who they are and really being proud of their community and wanting to invite people." said a representative from Simpleview
A fully redesigned website will launch on September 1st with an emphasis on storytelling, a comprehensive calendar of events, community engagement, and the visitor experience. The website will serve as an informational hub for Discover Peoria and will be where all marketing materials will point prospective visitors and residents to get more information on area communities.
While the name may only include Peoria, Dalfonso said this is because of google analytics research.
"The top key word for anyone looking and searching for Central Illinois used Peoria. So knowing that Peoria is the hook to get them to Central Illinois to get them downtown in Peoria or to our partnering cities, that's the behavior they're using."
He said each community they represent will have their own Discovery Brand.
“We know that this pivot in our branding and marketing of our community will inspire new visitors, our residents and new businesses to invest in and create memories in Peoria,” Dalfonso said. “As we look forward to the next 10 years, we see great potential for our community."
"We want to inspire our community to think big, achieve greatness and discover opportunities to better the quality of life of our citizens.”
COVID-19 has hit the hospitality industry especially hard, shutting down popular destinations.
But Dalfonso said 2018 data shows the Peoria area generated more than $650 million in spending in 2018, which resulted in $16 million in local tax revenue and supported more than 5,000 jobs.
While the loss of the 2020 IHSA March Madness Tournament will leave a seven-figure mark, he said new opportunities will help us bounce back.
"That's money being spent, that can be reinvested into our communities. We can make back the loss from something like an IHSA, it's just finding that new business and really bringing that to the forefront."
The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was established in 1980 with the goal of serving the seven counties (Fulton, Marshall, Mason, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford) and our five main funding cities (East Peoria, Morton, Pekin, Peoria and Washington) as the desired region in the country for wholesome, memorable experiences.