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Tuesday, Feb. 20
The Indiana Daily Student

travel

Visit Bloomington encourages self-tourism

This week, even the locals will feel like tourists.
 
Visit Bloomington is inviting locals to “be a tourist in your own town” this week.

Visit Bloomington, which promotes local tourism, is encouraging locals to visit newly discovered museums and restaurants or take part in a new activity in town.

This appreciation of Bloomington establishments is part of National Tourism Week from May 4 to 12.

Tourists to Bloomington spend an average of $279 million on lodging, dining and retail purchases, according to a press release.

Tourist visits support nearly 8,000 jobs in Monroe County and have made Bloomington a top-ten employer in the hospitality industry, according to a press release.

As a reward for participating in local business, the Visit Bloomington will give away gift certificates to locals for use at area restaurants and attractions.

In addition to the gift certificate program, the Visit Bloomington initiative invites locals to participate in the Photo A Day Challenge throughout the month of May.

Participants will submit photos pertaining to a daily word or phrase, posted at the Visit Bloomington blog page.

Participants can use the hashtag “#visitbtown” when submitting daily Instagram photos for the challenge. Each winning photo will be featured on the City of Bloomington Instagram page.

The Circles Initiative, a collaborative program between the South Central Community Action Program and Visit Bloomington, will also see recognition this week.

The program will help one of the SCCAP’s leaders become a tourist in their own town. Bloomington will provide $350 for the SCCAP member and a friend to experience the town as a visitor would.

The chosen SCCAP member will also track his or her progress from the Visit Bloomington blog.

As a closing event to National Tourism Week in Bloomington, Visit Bloomington arranged an awards reception to honor local tourism professionals on Friday.

Awards will be presented to local businesses and include categories like “best bar,” “best festival/event” and “best lodging.”

For more information about National Tourism Week, go to www.visitbloomington.com.

Amanda Jacobson

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