Visitors to Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday.
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.
“Tourism is a critical part of our economy,” Rauner said. “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. My hat is off to DCEO and the Department of Tourism for getting the word out with the “Up for Amazing” campaign. It is paying off smartly for our businesses and our tax rolls.”
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%.
Visitors spent a whopping $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
Illinois Office of Tourism Director, Cory Jobe credits the record numbers to several successful integrated marketing campaigns including Illinois Tourism’s “Up for Amazing” advertising campaign that launched in March 2017, and the “Amazing for All” campaign.
The Illinois tourism industry supported 335,500 jobs in 2017, an increase of 18,600 jobs since 2015.