ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The forecast for the tourism industry in St. Louis is looking bright.
Brian Hall works with the Convention and Visitors Commission, "The economy right now has pumped a lot of wind into our sales, from the standpoint that hotel occupancy rate is heading up it's up year to date by about 3.6 percent and was up by 6.5 percent last year."
Visitors like the fact that many St. Louis attractions don`t have an admission fee, like the zoo. A woman visiting from Kansas City said, "All the animals are free we were going to Des Moines but it's $15.
Hall said, "Based on the national forecast, based on what were experience year to date that this tourism season is going to be one of our best."
The C.V.C. has launched brand new T.V. commercials that experts hope will turn people`s opinions about St. Louis upside down. The commercials air in cities that are within 400 miles of St. Louis. Hall added, "If they think they know they're going to be pleasantly surprised that they really don't because of the transformation that's taken place particularly within the downtown core."
A woman from Chicago said, "We needed a change of pace and we heard a lot of good things about here so we decided to come down and take a visit."
Tourism officials say they see a $105 return for every $1 they spend on advertising