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Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Tourism

Gov. Pat Quinn Announces Illinois Tourism Grew $2.2 Billion in 2010


Chicago's "Bean" sculpture in Millenium Park draws visitors from around the Chicago area and from around the world, including Taylor Walker of Aurora, Illinois and Juan Carlos Alvarez of Fuerteventura, Spain.

(Chicago, IL) — June 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois’ tourism industry generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of more than $2.2 billion.

“The gains we experienced in 2010 clearly show that the tourism industry continues to play a critical role in our state’s ongoing economic recovery,” said Quinn.

The economic impact of tourism in Illinois has grown by more than $3 billion during the past five years, and it generated 287,500 jobs 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, up 5 percent from 2009, according to D. K. Shifflet & Associates. 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.

Chicago was relatively flat in visitor volume, down less than one percent, drawing 38.11 million visitors. Business travel was up 4.9 percent while leisure travel was down 2.9 percent. Both overnight business and leisure travel increased 8.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

“Chicago’s economic vitality is driven by its visitor industry, which generates more than $11 billion in direct spending, $616 million in tax revenue, and sustains more than 124,000 jobs for our city’s economy,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.

Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director of Chicago’s Office of Tourism and Culture, said she is pleased with Chicago’s tourism numbers.

“We are very encouraged that overnight leisure travel to Chicago has increased 7.4 percent, outpacing the U.S. average of 6.6 percent,” Coyle said.

Visitor volume outside the City of Chicago was up 10.8%, with leisure travel leading the way with an increase of 13.3%. Overnight leisure travel outside of Chicago was up 22.3%

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.

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.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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David Ormsby, Editor

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