SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said more than 117 million visitors traveled to Illinois in 2018, setting a new record number of visitors for the state.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, visitors spent $41.7 billion, boosting Illinois’ economy by $2 billion over the previous year. This record growth resulted in a 5.1% increase in visitor spending over 2017— higher than the national visitor growth rate of 4.9%. State and local tax revenue generated from visitor spending jumped 7.1% to $3.3 billion, creating an additional $220.8 million for the state and local communities, Enjoy Illinois said.
“From the limestone caves at Mississippi Palisades State Park to summer music festivals in Chicago, Illinois is full of vibrant cities and towns with endless attractions that receive millions of visitors each year,” Pritzker said. “Travel and tourism in Illinois is a $40 billion industry and an integral part of our state’s economy. I’m proud to be governor of the state where visitors can explore ‘amazing.”
The Illinois travel and tourism industry supported 342,300 jobs in 2018, an increase of 5,200 jobs from 2017.
“Tourism is a critical part of our economy, helping to create jobs and lower taxes,” said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity said.