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Champaign Council Endorses New Policy For CVB

The Champaign City Council is affirming its support for the agency set up to promote tourism for the area. But Mayor Don Gerard says he expects more accountability from the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau from now on.

Council members endorsed a new set of goals, principles and expectations for the CVB at Tuesday night's study session. Among other things, it calls for more proactive marketing from the bureau, and accountability that demonstrates a return on investment.

Mayor Don Gerard said he wants know what the Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing to promote Champaign right now, not just what it's done in the past.

"I want to take a fresh look at things as we're going, as per their day-to-day operations," Gerard said. "I want to know what is it are they doing there, 8 to 5 everyday? What sort of things are they doing? What sort of things are they going after? What sort of things did we used to have that they're either trying to bring back or replace? I just want to hold them to a very high standard."

Champaign is providing $223,000 to the Convention and Visitors Bureau this year --- at a time when Urbana has eliminated its funding. Several Champaign council members used Tuesday night's study session to praise the CVB, while pointing out Urbana's lack of support. The Urbana City Council is expected to revisit the topic at an upcoming meeting.

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