Visitors in Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017, nearly 114 million people travelled to the state last year giving a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy, according to Governor Bruce Rauner.
Last year’s visitor totals were three percent higher compared to 2016. Holly Cain, executive director of the Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said more tourism helps create jobs.
In 2016, 1,070 jobs were created in Adams, Hancock and Pike County due to tourism, according to data released by the U.S. Travel Association.
Cain said Quincy unique shops and restaurants contribute to attracting visitors and every one dollar spent in tourism brings back nine dollars to the economy.
"We know the power of tourism and we think it’s only going to increase, we have a full calendar this year & I think tourism is only going to be another great year for us again," she added.
The Quincy German Fest and Fishing for Freedom are popular events for people to book hotel rooms. Deb Carstens, general manager of Fairfield Inn & Suites, said business and vacation travelers keep the hotel busy, but the travel industry’s growth has varied throughout the years.
"A lot of that depends on what’s happening in the business market, because if business is strong, we’re gonna maintain our business trave,l but then we are gonna couple that with what’s happening in the leisure," Carstens said.
In the latest information released, visitors spent $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association.