State, City Tourism Business is Booming, Officials Say

Tourism numbers are almost where they were in 2007, prior to the great recession

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    More tourists are visiting Chicago, and that's good news for people who live here. Emily Florez reports. (Published Monday, July 8, 2013)

    For the second year in a row, officials say tourism in the state -- and Chicago -- is booming, and that's good for jobs and tax revenue.

    From across the country and around the world, people for the last two years have made Illinois their vacation destination. In 2012, more than $31 billion was spent by 99 million visitors, officials said.

    "That's what the economic driver of the tourism industry is all about. It means more money [and] more jobs for our state," said Adam Pollet with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    Officials say tourism numbers are almost where they were in 2007, prior to the great recession.

    About 39 million people visited the city in 2010. That number grew to 43 million a year later and to 46 million in 2012.

    "This seems to be the city where a lot of developers are looking to invest their money,"

    And invest they are.

    More than 4,000 additional hotel rooms are scheduled to become available within the next few years

    "We want people in Illinois to know that this great momentum is there and it's building and they should be proud of that," said Pollet.