Effingham – The Illinois Office of Tourism 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 8th consecutive year of record tourism growth in the state – contributing to an increase of visitor spending, tax revenue and local jobs.

Effingham County contributed to the state’s added economic domestic growth, with $170.71 million in travel expenditures (a 4.1% increase) and $3.44 million in local tax revenue (a 2.7% increase). More than 5,200 jobs were created across the state as a result of visitor spending, with 1,000 of them in Effingham County.

“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.”

Economic Impact of Domestic Travel:

Effingham County

Travel expenditures – $170.71 million (4.1% increase)

Local tax revenue – $3.44 million (2.7% increase)

“Effingham looks forward to attracting visitors as we continue to work hard to develop the region as a tourist destination,” Jodi Thoele, Director of Tourism for the City of Effingham, said in a press release.

“We’re happy to see our tourism numbers continue to trend upward. Effingham tourism continues to thrive for many reasons but one main reason is due to our dedicated hospitality partners here in Effingham, including our hotels, restaurants, attractions and the people behind them. We also have enthusiastic meeting planners, festival/event coordinators and sport event coordinators bringing in fantastic events each year, which help to highlight our City and bring in new visitors. It’s rewarding to see everyone’s dedication and hard work pay off,” said Thoele.

Fast Facts about Illinois Tourism in 2018:

Of Illinois’ 114.6 million domestic visitors, 16% were for business and 84% 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

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.