Tourism to DeKalb County Helping to Drive Economic Growth for Illinois


Today, the Illinois Office of Tourism announced domestic and international travel expenditures reached $37.9 billion in 2016 – a $571 million increase from 2015. This follows the state’s record-breaking domestic Illinois tourism figures released in May, which highlighted an increase of one million travelers to the state in 2016.

DeKalb County contributed to Illinois’ robust economic domestic growth, to the tune of $93.88 million in travel expenditures (a 2.83% increase) and $1.58 million in local tax revenue (a 7.54% increase). Additionally, the tourism industry created 10,000 new jobs across the state, with 20 of them in DeKalb County.

“One of the beautiful things about Illinois is the variety of experiences you can enjoy across the state – whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, outdoor adventure, delicious food or an amazing road trip,” said Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “By bringing new money to our stores, hotels, and attractions, visitors have the power to create a tangible economic impact for our communities. Our success as a
state depends on each county doing their part to promote the diverse ways visitors can experience their own amazing moments in Illinois.”

Homepage Video from Enjoy Illinois on Vimeo.

“These numbers reflect the success of the marketing and sales efforts that the DeKalb County CVB does to promote our area to visitors. They are also reflective of the thriving tourism industry that our partners are building. We are seeing expansion in the agritainment tourism market and additional events being added throughout the region. Arts, culture, sports, and our bold spirits artisans are our premiere niche markets. DeKalb County is also a strong draw for weddings, conferences, special events, and tour groups,” said Armstrong. “Two of our attractions are recipients of the coveted ‘Illinois Made’ award that is selected by
the Illinois Office of Tourism,” Armstrong continued. “Whiskey Acres was awarded this distinguished honor last fall. And Cory Jobe, Director, Illinois Office of Tourism, announced Jonamac Orchard as the second DeKalb County ‘Illinois Made’ maker during National Travel and Tourism Week at the Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Let’s Talk Tourism event hosted at the Egyptian Theatre in May.”

According to Debbie Armstrong, Executive Director, DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau, DeKalb County has a lot to be proud of and has an exciting future ahead as work continues developing the region and impacting local communities.


Fast facts about Illinois Tourism in 2016:
• Every $1 invested in Illinois tourism generates $9 in economic impact
• Illinois welcomed 110 million domestic visitors (an additional one million visitors over 2015)

o Of Illinois’ 110 million domestic visitors, 17% were for business and 83% for leisure
o In the past 10 years, domestic travel to Illinois has increased by 19 million visitors

• Domestic travelers spent nearly $35.1 billion in Illinois during 2016, a 1.8% increase over 2015

o In 2016, domestic travelers to Illinois generated $2.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, an increase of $122 million over 2015

• Length of stay per visitor increased by 3%, surpassing the US average of 2.4%
These numbers, provided by the U.S. Travel Association, are preliminary numbers only.

For travel inspiration and trip ideas, visit and
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that
result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.
The DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau is the certified destination marketing organization for DeKalb
County. The DCCVB works to promote DeKalb County as a premier destination for the business and leisure

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