Acting Director for Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity David Vaught says, 2011 proves to be a record year for Illinois tourism industry.
New numbers show the state brought in close to $32 billion in tourism dollars as it lured over 90 million visitors in; while creating more than 4,400 jobs in the industry.
Vaught says, in order to keep tourism dollars at a steady high then the state will need to continue to promote Illinois.
"We do strong advertising campaigns to really tell people a good story about coming to Illinois and coming to Rockford and we think its working. These numbers show that they are," said Vaught.
Coming to Rockford is what many visitors are doing. For the first time since 2007, visitor spending in Winnebago County tops the $300 million dollar mark as it creates more job opportunities.
With attractions like Rick's Pick at the Burpee Museum, Rockford's City Market, and Anderson Japanese Garden, the mayor hopes to push investors into our city to create future attractions--meaning more tourism dollars for Rockford.
"We're going to look at more partnerships between the state and department of transportation and the state tourism office to highlight the type of needed investment to help grow our overall economy both in tourism and other industry as well," said Mayor Larry Morrissey.