LOCAL

Northwest Illinois Sees Increase in Economic Impact of Tourism in 2010

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      The Illinois Department of Commerce and

                      Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism

                      recently released numbers that highlight the success

                      the northwest Illinois tourism industry experienced

                      in 2010. Visitors to the 10 northwest Illinois

                      counties generated nearly $694.8 million in local

                      economic impact Statewide, Illinois’ tourism industry

                      generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an

                      increase of more than $2.2 billion as visitor

                      spending continued to provide a strong economic

                      impact to the state, supporting hundreds of thousands

                      of jobs.

                      The economic impact of tourism from each of the

                      counties in northwest Illinois includes: Bureau -

                      $45.3 million, up 9.9 percent; Carroll - $18.5

                      million, up 9.0 percent; Henry - $37.7 million, up

                      8.3 percent; Jo Daviess - $163.1 million, up 6.8

                      percent; La Salle - $149.3 million, up 8.3 percent;

                      Lee - $27.3 million, up 4.8 percent; Mercer - $18.3

                      million, up 4.7 percent; Putnam - $4.9, up 5.8

                      percent; Rock Island - $199.0  million, up 8.3

                      percent; and Whiteside - $31.5  million, up 5.5

                      percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

                      “Illinois’ tourism industry showed positive gains in

                      2010, and we’re continuing to see that momentum build

                      in 2011. The economy is growing, people once again

                      are traveling greater distances for vacation, and

                      many of those people are choosing Illinois as their

                      travel destination,” DCEO Director Warren Ribley

                      said.

                      Illinois’ 2010 tourism numbers continue to show

                      strong economic impact on our state, generating

                      billions of dollars in economic impact and supporting

                      hundreds of thousands of jobs across the state.  The

                      economic impact of tourism in Illinois has grown by

                      more than $3 billion during the past five years.

                      Additionally, the travel industry generated 287,500

                      jobs in Illinois in 2010, directly and indirectly

                      supporting one in 10 jobs in the state. On average,

                      visitors spend nearly $80 million with Illinois

                      businesses every day.

                      State and local tax revenues from tourism totaled

                      more than $2 billion in 2010, an increase of $93.5

                      million. The total tourism tax revenue (federal,

                      state and local) saves the average Illinois household

                      more than $1,000 in taxes each year.

                      Illinois hosted nearly 84.7 million visitors in 2010,

                      according to D. K. Shifflet & Associates. This is up

                      5 percent from 2009. Both business and leisure travel

                      saw increases in visitor volume, with leisure travel

                      up 6 percent and business travel up 2.5 percent.

                      Overnight leisure travel to the state was up 13.8

                      percent, increasing market share by 11 percent in

                      this category and ranking Illinois 10th in the U.S.

                      Illinois maintained its ranking as the 7th most

                      popular state for overseas visitors to the U.S. in

                      2010, hosting 1,186,000 such visitors, according to

                      the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism

                      Industries. The City of Chicago, the 10th most

                      popular U.S. city for overseas visitors, hosted

                      1,134,000 international visitors in 2010, a 2 percent

                      increase over 2009 arrivals.

                      “The Illinois tourism industry has come a long way

                      this past year,” said Illinois Office of Tourism

                      Deputy Director Jan Kostner. “Every single county in

                      Illinois saw an increase in tourism expenditures from

                      2009 to 2010. People from all over the world are

                      coming to vacation in Illinois and spending their

                      tourism dollars here, further strengthening our

                      economic recovery.”

                      The Illinois Office of Tourism offers additional

                      information on one-of-a-kind attractions, events

                      statewide and suggested getaways on the Office's

                      website, www.enjoyillinois.com.