By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News
(SPRINGFIELD, IL) — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office has announced that an additional 1.6 million travelers visited Illinois in 2017, bringing an increase in visitor spending, tax revenue and local jobs.
Rauner’s office says nearly 114 million people traveled to the state last year to “Enjoy Illinois” and give a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy.
Last year’s visitor totals were 3% higher than 2016, which also was a record year. Travelers came from all over the world for business (17%) and pleasure (83%). In the past 10 years, travelers visiting Illinois increased by more than 22 million, and tourism has become one of the state’s most important industries. Rauner’s office says the Illinois tourism industry supported 335,500 jobs in 2017, an increase of 18,600 jobs since 2015.
Visitors spent $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association. That’s an increase of $1.1 billion or 3 percent from 2016. Visitor outlays for goods and services generated $2.95 billion in state and local tax revenue, up $75 million from 2016. Tourist spending saves the average Illinois household over $1,300 in taxes each year.
“Tourism is a critical part of our economy,” Rauner said in a release from his office. “There is so much to see and do in our state. It is gratifying to know that so many people come here each year to experience what we have to offer.”
New attractions help boost interest in traveling to Illinois. The recently opened Frank Lloyd Wright Trail is sure to attract crowds and this summer the Illinois Governor’s Mansion will re-open with a new focus on Illinois and history. The new venues will enhance the state’s tourism portfolio.
@ 2018 WLS-AM News