Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lotsa Folks Coming to Illinois

Record numbers of people are visiting Illinois which is good for state businesses and monies. In 2006, 71.8 million leisure visitors came to the state, up by 9% over 2005. The state has really stepped up its marketing campaign. Chicago saw a 15.5% increase while downstate was 5.5%.

US visitors either staying a night, or coming from at least 50 miles away accounted for 91.1 million. As a result, $1.9 billion in state and local taxes were collected (just stay in a motel and look at the taxes that are added).

This shows quite a recovery from 9-11, despite Big Oil's price gouging.

However, SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS' tourism is down after two very strong years. Reasons are cold weather, high gas prices, and a leveling off of the surge of visitors to the Lincoln Museum which opened in 2005. It is expected to surge again in 2009 as interest in Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial of his birth kicks in.

Attendance at the Abraham Lincoln Museum is down 13% the last several months. Of course, like with any new thing, once the newness wears off, it should be expected to level off.

Illinois, A Great Place to Cruise. --RoadDog

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