photo: Great Lakes USAThe Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau says tourism numbers continue to be encouraging, and foreign visitors still play a big part in that. The bureau welcomes travel writers to the Riverbend on a regular basis, but the head of the local tourism bureau recently took the message overseas.

Brett Stawar, Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau President, traveled to China earlier this month, meeting with travel writers and tour operators there. He tells The Big Z this is the second year in a row he’s made the trip.

Click here for Stawar's comments

Stawar says when you throw in the Cahokia Mounds, the Grafton SkyTour and the various river cruises, it’s a powerful pitch. 

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)