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Convention and Visitors Bureau reaching new pinnacles

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The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has been awarded one of the industry's most prestigious award at the same time it received accreditation only a relatively few similar organizations receive.

And the two combined could bode well for future convention prospects in Peoria, particularly as new and improved downtown hotel space becomes available, said Bob Marx, CEO of the PACVB.

The bureau was recently named winner of Successful Meetings magazine's Pinnacle Award, given to honor hospitality excellence as chosen by readers of the magazine, which are corporate and association meeting planners.

It was the first time in the Peoria bureau's 31-year history it has received the award.

The Peoria bureau also announced it was awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP), one of only 130 destination marketing organizations out of more than 1,700 in the United States, Canada and Europe to achieve the designation.

"Will these help us in the future? Well, they certainly are not going to hurt us as we try to compete more on a national basis," Marx said. "The convention industry knows what both of these mean and respects what they mean."

This is the 27th year for the Pinnacle Award, which Marx said has earned the reputation of the most prestigious and credible symbol of excellence among meeting planners and hoteliers.

"The Pinnacle Award is an honor that we are very proud of because it is client drive and we all know the positive effects of word-of-mouth advertising," he said. "Clients submit the names of bureaus that have made their meetings successful.

"Appreciation and notoriety from our clients for all our hard work and diligence in marketing the Peoria area makes this award much more special," Marx added.

The only other hospitality organization in Illinois to win the award is the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Other Midwest visitor bureau winners, all larger than Peoria, include Branson, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Milwaukee.

The DMAP accreditation, Marx said, "is huge" because of the 85 different mandatory requirements a destination marketing organization such as the PACVB have to satisfy before it can be considered.

DMAP is an international accreditation program developed by the Washington, D.C.-based Destination Marketing Association International. In earning DMAP accreditation, destination marketing organizations communicate to their community, buyers and potential visitors that their DMO has attained a significant measure of excellence.

"The DMAP accreditation came after a long, intense and extremely rigorous process to satisfy certain requirements. It was completed in just one year, which Marx called "a testament to the professional competencies of our staff and the attention to detail that prevails in our day-to-day destination marketing efforts."

The PACVB represents an eight county region including Bureau, Fulton, Marshall, Mason, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford. The organization's mission is to promote the Peoria area as a destination for visitors and contribute to the economic growth of the communities they represent. In 2010, the PACVB generated more than $19.5 million in economic impact for the region.


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).