Ward Room
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Quinn Touts Illinois Tourism Growth



    FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2013 file photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Chicago. Quinn will will deliver his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

    State numbers show the number of international visitors to Illinois last year grew by 3 percent, to 2.2 million.

    Gov. Pat Quinn announced the increase Thursday while visiting 12-year-old Chloe Stirling at the Kendall College Culinary Camp in Chicago. The 12-year-old's cupcake business in Madison County was shut down earlier this year, prompting a change in state law for home baking.
    Illinois officials said in May that 103.5 million Americans visited the Prairie State in 2013. Quinn says with international visitors, Illinois saw a record number of tourists last year — 105.7 million.
    Visitors spent nearly $35 billion in the state. That generated nearly $3 billion in state and local tax revenues.
    Tourism research firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates provided the numbers.