Visitors fewer, revenue up from Ill. tourists

Officials: Illinois tourism still strong
June 8, 2009 On Monday morning, representatives from different state and local tourism groups talked about tourism in Illinois.

New figures were released from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. It shows tourism generated $30 billion in economic impact for the state last year. That's a three percent increase from the previous year.

There were also increases in domestic and international travel spending in Illinois.

"Thanks to successful marketing campaigns, incredible hospitality and excellent cost savings, visitors are continuing to seek out Illinois as a getaway destination both domestically and internationally," said Warren Ribley, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Another area that increased last year in Illinois was retail shopping, which climbed by more than 29 percent.

Fewer American tourists visited the Windy City last year. The state of Illinois saw 88 million American visitors last year, which is about a 1 percent decrease. But 44 million Americans visited Chicago. That's a decrease of 2 percent.

All those visitors, however, stayed longer, and they spent more money. The number of foreign tourists is also up more than 20 percent.

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