Record-Breaking Tourism in Illinois
More tourists visited Illinois last year than ever before. Today, the Illinois Office of Tourism announced the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism in the state, at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline.
Director Cory Jobe says 109 million people visited Illinois in 2014, a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. And, that generated more than 36-billion-dollars in revenue.
In Rock Island County, visitors spent more than 215-million-dollars last year, an increase of point-4 percent. That money supported over 16-hundred jobs in the Quad Cities.
But, Jobe couldn't celebrate the growth without addressing what he calls, "the elephant in the room," or the uncertainty with the state budget.
Jobe says the increase in tourism is a result of a stronger online marketing effort, that focuses on emotion and unique experiences.
Jobe also announced two new marketing efforts to continue growing tourism in the state. One is a new bi-annual leisure travel magazine, called "Enjoy." The second is a series of videos that will contribute to a larger documentary, called "Illinois Made." It will feature artisans, inventors, and performers working in Illinois.