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|Tourism Officials Hope Numbers Remain Strong
|Tourism was big business for Illinois in 2007. That's the latest from the Illinois Bureau of Tourism.
Deputy director Jan Kostner says her department knows that 2008 numbers, set to be released in May, will not match those of 2007, but believes the state's tourism business will remain strong through 2009 despite a poor economy.
Kostner highlighted some of the plans to draw tourists to Illinois at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism held late last week.
She says the state is marketing affordable getaways and is getting the message out that it is OK to take time off to travel.
Kostner says the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth and the election of President Barack Obama are also big tourist draws this year.
In addition to the Presidents, Illinois will launch a brand new marketing campaign this month. "Perfect Match: There's a Getaway for That" is aimed at attracting travelers by showing them their perfect getaway awaiting them in Illinois . A quiz will appear on the Bureau's website, www.enjoyillinois.com, to match travelers' personal likes and dislikes with their perfect Illinois getaway.
* In 2007, Illinois welcomed nearly 89 million domestic visitors, spending a total of more than $29.9 billion, a 5.8 percent increase from 2006.
* The economic impact of tourism directly generated 305,460 jobs within Illinois in 2007, an increase of 3,940 new jobs and comprising 5.1 percent of total non-farm employment in the state.
* Travel-related spending accounted for over $5.4 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2007, a 4.1 percent increase over 2006. The additional taxes save an average Illinois household over $1,100 in taxes each year.
* Consumer inquiries for FY 08 were nearly 3.2 million, a 29 percent increase over FY 07 inquiries.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|03 08 09 by Newsroom
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