Tourist spending in Rockford and Winnebago counties has continues to rise year after year—in 2015 it reached $349.91 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism.
"We are delighted to see such strong results again this year for the tourism economy in Winnebago County," says Roberta Holzwarth, board chair, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Sustained economic growth is crucial as we transform our region.”
The tax revenue from tourism is injected straight into the community, rounding out at $5.9 million for 2015 alone. The result is a booming tourism and hospitality industry that employs more than 2,800 people.
This growth isn’t limited to the Rockford and Winnebago communities, the Illinois Office of Tourism announced that the Illinois tourism industry has achieved a steady, continued growth in 2015. Expenditures have topped off at $37 billion and the industry has created more than 10,000 jobs statewide.
"Illinois has something for everyone to enjoy, from world-class museums and galleries, to historic sites, rich cultural arts community to professional sports, outdoor recreation and beautiful vistas,” says Cory M. Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Our tourism and hospitality industry are Illinois’ greatest champions, drawing not only new visitors, but repeat travelers as well, in order to support and grow our local economies.”