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Lake County Tourism Helping to Drive Growth for Illinois

July 21, 2017
Sara Rolsma, Media Manager

Lake County Tourism Helping to Drive Economic Growth for Illinois
Visit Lake County posts increases in expenditures, employment and local tax receipts.

GURNEE, IL – Visitor spending in 2016 in Lake County generated nearly $1.3 billion which is a 1 percent increase, while employment increased 2.5 percent from 2015. Tourism related jobs jumped from 10,530 to 10,790. Local tax receipts rose to over $29.5 million which is a 5.6 percent increase from 2015’s $28 million figure. Lake County continues to rank as one of the top three counties in Illinois for visitor expenditures behind Cook and DuPage County.

“The increase in travel spending is good news for Lake County, said Maureen Riedy, Visit Lake County President. “Tourism plays a vital role in the positive image and economic growth of the County and provides valuable jobs. Our marketing initiatives and advertising promote the exceptional attractions and festivals, and the abundance of outdoor recreation to entice visitors to spend time and money here.”

The Illinois tourism industry’s economic impact continues to grow. The travel expenditures surpassed $37.9 billion which is a $571 million increase from 2015. This increase created over 10,000 new jobs in 2016 across the state. The rise in employment is a 3.4 percent increase from 2015. The jobs and revenue generated by Illinois tourism industry support local communities and the growth of Illinois’ economy.

These numbers, provided by the U.S. Travel Association, are preliminary. Final visitor statistics will be available later this year.

Fast facts about Illinois Tourism in 2016:

• Every $1 invested in Illinois tourism generates $9 in economic impact
• Illinois welcomed 110 million domestic visitors (an additional one million visitors over 2015)
o Of Illinois’ 110 million domestic visitors, 17 percent were for business and 83 percent for leisure
o In the past 10 years, domestic travel to Illinois has increased by 19 million visitors
• Domestic travelers spent nearly $35.1 billion in Illinois during 2016, a 1.8 percent increase over 2015
o In 2016, domestic travelers to Illinois generated $2.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, an increase of $122 million over 2015
• Length of stay per visitor increased by 3 percent, surpassing the US average of 2.4 percent

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The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.

Visit Lake County serves as the champion for tourism and the official destination marketing organization for Lake County, Illinois and represents municipalities, hotels, attractions and hospitality related businesses throughout the county. The agency offers travel resources at www.visitlakecounty.org, and services for visitors and event planners to enhance the economic impact of travel spending in the county.

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No matter which route you take, all roads lead to fun in Lake County, Illinois, which is located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Lake County is home to 170 lakes and rivers, 30,000 acres of lush forest preserves, miles of hiking and biking trails, Six Flags Great America, Naval Station Great Lakes, Ravinia Festival and sandy beaches along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Family adventure is around every turn and awaits you in Lake County.
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