The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism is celebrating a 4th consecutive year of record-breaking tourism industry numbers as part of a four day, 12-stop tour around Illinois. Tourism officials provided updates on local visitor data, job creation, revenue growth and new tourism initiatives during a special presentation at Elgin Artspace Lofts in Elgin on July 30th at 11:30am.
In 2014, the state’s tourism industry hosted more than 109.4 million visitors, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2013, generating more than $36.3 billion in travel expenditures. Visitors spent $88.39 million in DeKalb County in 2014, an increase of 8.3 percent. These visitor expenditures directly supported 530 jobs and generated $1.38 million in local tax revenues.
“The ongoing increase in visitors to Illinois year-demonstrates that both leisure and business travelers are considering Illinois a premier travel destination, providing a direct economic benefit for communities across the state,” said Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “These numbers are a true testament that the industry’s efforts to support and promote travel to Illinois are paying off, year after year.”
Jobe highlighted two new marketing initiatives to promote Illinois’ unique travel offerings -the launch of Enjoy, a newly formatted, bi-annual Illinois leisure travel magazine designed to inspire travel with featured content and unique experiences; and the Illinois Made program. Illinois is full of inventors, artists, performers, innovators, pioneers and makers. Illinois Made will showcase and celebrate these makers, their passion for what they do and the positive impact they’ve made on the people and culture of the state.
“We are excited to report that the efforts of the DeKalb County CVB continue to drive economic impact to our community,” stated Executive Director, Debbie Armstrong. Events like the IHSA State Football Championships, IESA State Wrestling Champions, arts and cultural events, MS: Tour de Farms, Tour of Champions Drum and Bugle Corps and Jehovah Witness conferences made a significant economic impact on visitor spending for local businesses.
We are looking forward to hosting our 2nd IHSA state football championship weekend on November 27th and 28th in DeKalb at Huskie Stadium.
The Economic Impact of Domestic Travel on Illinois Counties for 2014 report includes 102 counties. DeKalb County is in the top 9 percent of counties that increased revenue from tourism spending. According to Armstrong, “DeKalb County visitor spending increase is almost 3 percent over the state average of 5.4%. We had a bigger increase than 92 of the other 102 counties. We are in the top 9% for state and local tax revenue generated. Those are impressive numbers. We are proud of the part the DeKalb County CVB played in generating them to contribute to the economic vitality for our county businesses and residents.”
For more information about planning an Illinois getaway and to order a free copy of the 2015 Illinois Travel Guide, please visit EnjoyIllinois.com.