Riverboats bring tourists to Hannibal - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Riverboats bring tourists to Hannibal

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Queen of the Mississippi docked. Queen of the Mississippi docked.
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Extreme Heat the past two weeks caused tourism numbers to drop in Hannibal. But, with nice weather over the weekend and two major cruise ships coming to town, America's hometown saw a nice boost Sunday.

More than 500 passengers got off the Queen of the Mississippi and the American Queen to see the sights and sounds in Hannibal.

"Well we walked over town, up and down the hill, which kind of wears you out, and then finished up and the Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer exhibit area," Tourist Bob Tomasic said. "Things like Becky Thatcher's house, several gift shops and museums. Very interesting."

Tomasic is making his first visit to Hannibal. Something he's put on his bucket list.

"I've been trying to get to Hannibal for years," Tomasic added. "We never had, so I had to get a cruise to do that. It was worth it."

With more cruise ships to dock here in the next few months, business owners like Bruce Anton are excited to see and uptick in business.

"It probably increases business by twenty percent some days, which is pretty good," Anton said.

When boats like the Queen of the Mississippi roll into Hannibal, shop owners said it's not only the passengers that drive up tourism, but the locals checking out the boats as well.

"I think it brings people to town just to see the boats, so we have increased business from that," Anton added.

Anton said he thinks downtown has improved which keeps people coming back. 

"The streets and the side walks have helped a lot," Anton said. "People have really taken pride in their buildings and keeping them up."

Visitors like Tomasic are taking notice of the efforts shop owners and city officials are putting into the riverfront.

"The thing that amazes me the most, I think, is all the refurbishing they've done on all of the buildings," Tomasic said. "They just look fantastic."

The Queen of the Mississippi is scheduled to dock back in Hannibal on Thursday, August 10.

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