Illinois Road Show touts success of Tourism
Tourism doing well in Illinois
HANNA CITY, IL - Representatives from the Illinois Office of Tourism stopped June 21 in Peoria as part of a six-city Road Show tour to highlight the gains made in state tourism over the last year.
Illinois' tourism industry generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of more than $2.2 billion as visitor spending continued to provide a strong economic impact to the state, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, said the state's tourism deputy director Jan Kostner.
"After a couple of sluggish years, travel is picking back up," said Jan Kemmerling, division manager for the state's tourism office, during a presentation at Wildlife Prairie Park.
Another statistic the tourism office shared showed travel is bouncing back in Illinois. The state hosted nearly 84.7 million visitors in 2010, up 5 percent, or 4.2 million people, from 2009.
Peoria was the third stop on the four-day Road Show. IOT officials started the tour in Chicago before traveling to Rockford then Peoria. On the final leg of the trip, they visited Springfield, Alton and Carbondale.
In 2010, the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau booked a total of 243 convention and sport groups into the Peoria Area, said Bob Marx, President/CEO of the PACVB. Those visiting groups brought a combined 65,286 room nights to the area.
"Those 65,000-plus room nights translated into a direct $19.5 million economic impact for our area and that figure does not include the hundreds of leisure visitors who came for a festival, wedding, family reunion, weekend getaway, etc.," said Marx. "This is money that is spent in our area and stays in our area."
The 2,000-acre zoological park served as the backdrop for the news conference, which was attended by five local media outlets, and more than a dozen area partners and stakeholders. Following the presentation, officials took the "Adventure Trek" tour through the park via a bus, giving them an up-close view of the many animals in their natural environment. The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau then treated the representatives to a private dinner at Kickapoo Creek Winery.
The Illinois Office of Tourism offers additional information on one-of-a-kind attractions, events statewide and suggested Getaways on the Office's website, enjoyillinois.com.