Hannibal gains steam for record-breaking tourism
HANNIBAL (WGEM) - Hannibal is gaining steam in welcoming new visitors so far this year. It’s cruising to what could be one of its most successful tourism seasons yet.
Hannibal has spent years planning and waiting for large cruise ships to dock along its riverfront.
That’s led to hundreds and even thousands of new tourists in America’s Hometown, but that’s not the only factor attracting new visitors in 2023.
Carl Brown has spent more than 50 years greeting Hannibal tourists.
“It’s all about people,” Brown said.
Brown said you might be surprised by the international presence in America’s Hometown, just as a bus of visitors surprised him Wednesday afternoon.
“A tour bus pulled in and had 30 people from Germany,” Brown explained. “International travelers are also on the boats. They have many international travelers. You name it--Australia, Japan, Norway.”
Trevor McDonald with the Visitor’s Bureau said record attendance turned out to Hannibal’s major events this year including last weekend’s Steampunk Festival.
“There was an increase of 1,500 people,” McDonald said. “Which came to a total of 21,500 attendees.”
That momentum isn’t over. The American Serenade riverboat and Viking cruise ship are expected to dock along Hannibal’s riverfront this weekend.
“It’s been a really exciting season all the way through,” McDonald said. “It’s really been a great boost. It’s also been really exciting for people from the surrounding communities and Hannibal to be able to greet the visitors. We’ve definitely seen some very strong numbers in the way of lodging.”
The Hannibal Rotary Club is planning the “Harvest Hootenanny” on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 at the Mark Twain Cave Complex.
The festival will feature live music, arts, crafts and food for the whole family.
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