The local tourism industry remains a vital player in the region's economy, but it’s been at a virtual standstill since mid-March. Millions of dollars each year in visitor spending pumps up the local economy, and the hope is that we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

As Phase Three of the Reopen Illinois plan will offer more flexibility in getting business reopened with restrictions, Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau spokesman Stephanie Tate tells The Big Z there will still be people that want to avoid crowds as the region starts to reopen.

Click here for Tate's comments

She says many local attractions are currently working on plans to institute in about a week, and that will be a big step toward getting the tourism industry rolling again.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/