Excellence in Tourism Awards

The Excellence in Tourism Awards are presented annually at the Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism, which is co-hosted by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism (DCEO/IOT) and the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (ICCVB). Each year, information about the categories and the entry form are published on the conference website. Divisions within categories are based on budget size.

The most recent award recipients appear below. For previous years, please select from the follow links: 2018, 20172016 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.

2019 Excellence in Tourism Award Recipients

The 2019 awards were presented Monday, February 4 at the Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois. Please select this link  to read more about the conference and awards.

Friends of Tourism
  • Thomas S. Rivera, trailblazer and longtime advocate for Illinois Tourism
Best in Show
  • Great Rivers & Routes
Best Leisure Collateral
  • Division A - Visit Springfield, Abe's Hat Hunt
  • Division B - Quincy Area CVB, 99 Watering Holes
Best Social Media Marketing
  • Division A: Skydeck Chicago, #StreetToSkyChi
  • Division B: Ottawa Visitors Center, Midwest Morel Festival
Best Cooperative Partnership
  • Division A: Rockford Area CVB, "Rockford Peaches 75th Anniversary"
  • Division B: [TIE] Visit McHenry County, "McHenry County Made Passport" and Galesburg Area CVB, "One State Together in the Arts 2018 Conference"
Best Branding Initiative
  • Division A: Rockford Area CVB, Bring Your Game 2 Rockford
  • Division B: [TIE] City of Columbia, Pop-Up Shop and Elgin Area CVB, Explore Elgin
Best Website
  • Division A: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Division B: Mt. Vernon Convention and Visitors Bureau
Best Visitors Publication
  • Division A: Great Rivers & Routes, 2019 Great Rivers, Great Routes and Great Memories Travel Guide
  • Division B: Great Rivers Country Tourism Office, Great River Road in Illinois Visitors Guide
Best Event or Festival
  • Division A: The Magnificent Mile Association, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
  • Division B: Streater Tourism, Murals and Milestones
Best Tourism Marketing Campaign
  • Division A: Illinois Holocaust Museum, Stories of Survival
  • Division B: Ottawa Visitors Center, Twice the Rivers...Twice the Fun