Visitors to Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today. 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. Last year’s visitor totals were 1.4% higher than 2016, which also was a record year. Travelers came from all over the world for business (17%) and pleasure (83%). In the past 10 years, travelers visiting Illinois increased by more than 22 million, and tourism has become one of the state’s most important industries. The Illinois tourism industry supported 335,500 jobs in 2017, an increase of 18,600 jobs since 2015. Visitors spent a whopping $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association. That’s an increase of $1.1 billion or 3 percent from 2016. Visitor outlays for goods and services generated $2.95 billion in
state and local tax revenue, up $75 million from 2016. Tourist spending saves the average Illinois household over $1,300 in taxes each year. Additional marketing campaigns focused on fall travel, promoting the Illinois Made program and attracting
more LGBTQ travelers to the state. “By promoting authentic experiences across the state, we drive visitors deeper into Illinois, increasing visitor spending and generating more tax revenue for our communities,” added Jobe. Illinois Office of Tourism receives domestic visitor numbers from DK Shifflet and international visitor numbers from Tourism Economics. Visitor expenditures, tax revenue and jobs numbers come from U.S. Travel Association.