The Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism is an annual reminder of the economic impact of tourism for Illinois. Illinois’ tourism and hospitality industry is a major contributor to the state’s economy. The efforts of the Illinois Office of Tourism continue to drive our state’s recovery and position Illinois for future growth and success by stimulating our economy, boosting tax revenues, and putting people back to work. Travelers can have a huge economic impact. They dine in our world-class local restaurants, stay in our charming hotels and bed and breakfasts, and support our unique small businesses — which are truly the backbone of our economy.
As the tourism industry continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19, Illinois is seeing very positive growth back towards pre-pandemic numbers. A highlight of this rebound was a record-breaking $308 million in hotel revenue for FY23.
The 111 million visitors (an increase of 14 million) during this period created a total economic impact of $78 billion (an increase of $12 billion).
This visitor spending generated $4.3 billion in state and local tax revenue. Beyond the fiscal impact, the tourism industry creates a significant demand for jobs. In 2022, the tourism & hospitality industry generated over 270,000, an increase of 38,300 over the previous year.
To drive continued growth, the Illinois Office of Tourism is always seeking new ways to expand its marketing efforts and position the state as a “must-visit” for both domestic and international travelers. Focusing on domestic markets, the Middle of Everything campaign positions Illinois as a welcoming “middle” of the country with world-class cuisine, architecture, history, and outdoor adventures. During the Illinois Governor’s Conference, IOT will share more on recent marketing efforts and key focuses for the year ahead.
In addition to integrated creative campaigns, IOT champions “always-on” initiatives to support economic growth and tourism throughout the state. These activities include the award-winning Illinois Made program. This initiative utilizes the Enjoy Illinois platform to promote worthy Illinois businesses and encourage both locals and visitors to support the diverse and talented people that make Illinois such a special place.