Tourism continues to grow in the State of Illinois and Crawford County.
The Illinois Office of Tourism recently announced both international and domestic travel expenditures reached $41.7 billion in 2018 which is a $2 billion boost to the state's economy since 2017. More than 117 million visitors came to Illinois in 2018 - the eighth consecutive year of record tourism growth in the state - contributing to an increase of visitor spending, tax revenue and local jobs.
ILLINOISouth Tourism, of which Crawford County is a member, contributed to the state's added economic domestic growth, with $1.34 billion in travel expenditures, a 5.1 precent increase, and $33.8 million in local tax revenue, a 4 percent increase. More than 1,100 jobs were created in our region as a result of visitor spending.
"Tourism is a critical part of our economy, helping to boost local and state tax revenue and create jobs," said Jan Kemmerling, acting director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. "From scenic road trips, stunning state parks, amazing family-friendly attractions and spectacular nightlife, Illinois offers incredible experiences for visitors all year long."
Here in Crawford County an increase in the number of festivals, ball tournaments and other attractions have also had an impact on local tourism. In 2018, it was calculated that $19.35 million was spent on tourism in Crawford County, translating into $660,000 in local tax receipts.
This is compared to Clark County at $15.09 million, Cumberland $6.93 million, Jasper $10.17 million, Lawrence $9.9 million, and Richland at $16.76 million.
"ILLINOISouth Tourism looks forward to attracting visitors as we continue to work hard to develop the region as a tourist destination. Our 22 county region continues to grow and attract visitors from all over the world. Our digital marketing focus allows promoting our territory to a much broader audience increasing Tourism to ILLINOISouth," said Dan Krankeola, President/CEO of ILLINOISouth Tourism.
Of Illinois' 114.6 million domestic visitors last year, 16 percent were for business and 84 percent for leisure. Illinois welcomed more than 2.3 million international visitors in 2018. In the past 10 years, domestic travel to Illinois has increased by 26 million visitors. The visitor expenditures generated by domestic visitors supported 342,300 jobs in 2018 which is an increase of 6,200 jobs since 2017.
In Crawford County, tourism represents around 140 jobs.
State and local tax revenue generated from visitor spending jumped 7.1 percent to $3.3 billion, creating an addition $220.8 million for the state and local communities.
Illinois Office of Tourism receives domestic visitor volume estimates from DK Shifflet and international visitor numbers from Tourism Economics. Visitor expenditures, tax revenue and jobs numbers come from U.S. Travel Association.
For more information about Illinois tourism, visit EnjoyIllinois.com. To learn more about ILLINOISouth visit www.illinoisouth.org.