CR visitors bureau strikes exclusive deal with Eastern Iowa Airport - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CR visitors bureau strikes exclusive deal with Eastern Iowa Airport

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- An exclusive membership deal between The Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CRCVB) and the Eastern Iowa Airport isn't sitting well with the director of the Quad City International Airport.

CRCVB President Tim Boyle said the board decided Tuesday to have only one airport as a member, and selected the one in Cedar Rapids.

"The board believes that the mission and objectives of the bureau are best served by working with the local airport serving Cedar Rapids," Boyle said. "Ultimately, the greater the number of passengers who travel through The Eastern Iowa Airport, the greater the chances for a choice of air carriers and destinations and the greater the likelihood of competitive airfares."

The CRCVB refunded membership dues paid by the Quad Cities airport, but will honor advertising placed in the 2009 Cedar Rapids area visitors guide by the airport. The Eastern Iowa Airport will have exclusive rights to advertising in CRCVB materials after that point.

Bruce Carter, director of aviation with the Quad Cities airport, questioned the wisdom of the decision.

"Limiting advertising to The Eastern Iowa Airport also limits the choices of incoming visitors and travelers to our mutual region," he said. "I have sat on CVB boards in many cities. A regional approach to tourism is a positive way to sell your product to incoming visitors."

But Mr. Boyle said the decision was made with the health of the local economy in mind.

"It serves the economic health of the community to buy local, to the maximum extent possible, and also to fly local whenever possible," he said. "An active and successful airport is a boost to the local economy."

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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