CHICAGO (CBS) – Nearly 114 million people traveled to Illinois in 2017, an all-time high for the number of tourists visiting the state. Governor Bruce Rauner announced the record-breaking tourism numbers Tuesday.
The tourism in 2017 gave Illinois a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy, with an increase in visitor spending, tax revenue, and local jobs.
According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, last year’s visitor totals were 1.4% higher than 2016, which was also a record year.
Travels from all over the world visited the state, 17% visiting for business and 83% visiting for pleasure.
In the past ten 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.
“Tourism is a critical part of our economy,” Rauner said. “There is so much to see and do in our state. It is gratifying to know that so many people come here each year to experience what we have to offer. My hat is off to DCEO and the Department of Tourism for getting the word out with the “Up for Amazing” campaign. It is paying off smartly for our businesses and our tax rolls.”