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Tourism Adds Jobs & Boosts Local Economy

John Deere

More visitors spent more money in the Illinois Quad Cities last year. The Illinois Office of Tourism recently released its statistics for 2017. Last year, people who visited Rock Island County contributed more than $223 million to the local economy, an increase of 2.7% compared to 2016.

Lynn Hunt is the Interim President and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. She says last year, tourism also created 1,740 jobs in Rock Island County. Her staff works hard to attract groups to hold conventions here, such as collectors of "Flow Blue" china who met in Bettendorf late last wee.

Hunt says tourism is a catalyst for economic development, and "every resident is a tourist first." Tax revenue from tourist spending in Rock Island County rose to $4.3 million last year. That's a 3% jump compared to the previous year.

Many tourists come to the Quad Cities from Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, Milwaukee, Madison, Cedar Rapids, and Omaha.

The State of Iowa will release its statistics later this year.

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