Tourism Generates Record Economic Growth for Southwest Illinois in 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Alton, IL – Sept. 6, 2023) The impact of tourism on local economies soared in 2022 with the Great Rivers & Routes region of southwest Illinois generating a local economic impact of $825 million and contributing to an increase in visitor spending across Illinois.
In addition, this boost in tourism contributed $36.4 million in local tax revenue while directly supporting 9,327 jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry, according to the latest data provided by Tourism Economics, a global tourism research firm, which measures the number of visitors as well as their impact on Illinois’ economy during the 2022 calendar year.
“If anyone had any doubt, these numbers show how important tourism is to our local economies in southwest Illinois,” Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau noted. “Tourism is an economic engine for our region bringing people to eat in our restaurants, stay overnight in our hotels and visit our local attractions. These numbers reinforce our belief that tourism is a foundation for economic growth.”
Last month, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Illinois reached its highest-ever hotel revenue figures in FY23 ($308 million) – surpassing the pre-pandemic record in FY19. Illinois welcomed 111 million visitors last year, representing 14 million additional travelers over 2021. In addition, visitor spending surged to $44 billion in 2022 – $12 billion over calendar year 2021 and 97% of record 2019 levels. As a result of tourist spending and visits in 2022, the overall economic impact – which includes indirect and induced impacts – amounted to a staggering $78 billion, a 30% increase from 2021 figures ($60 billion).
“Tourism is a key economic driver for our state, contributing to the growth of small businesses while generating jobs for our local communities,” said Kristin Richards, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “Illinois has made unprecedented investments in travel and tourism and we’re excited to build upon this record-breaking progress as we continue to promote Illinois and support the industry.”
“From iconic road trips and scenic drives to family-friendly attractions, thrilling outdoor adventures and picturesque state parks, Illinois is full of extraordinary and diverse experiences that attract visitors from around the world,” said Daniel Thomas, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism. “Our state’s award-winning tourism campaign, “Middle of Everything,” launched in 2022, has resulted in an enormous return on investment with every $1 spent on the campaign generating $10 in state and local tax revenue.”
Economic Impact of Domestic Travel by County:
Visitor Spending – $32.9 million (4.1% decrease)
Local tax revenue – $4.2 million (2.4% increase)
Visitor Spending – $12 million (4.2% increase)
Local tax revenue – $0.6 million (0% increase)
Visitor Spending – $81 million (15.5% increase)
Local tax revenue – $5 million (13% increase)
Visitor Spending – $57.1 million (31.9% increase)
Local tax revenue – $3.4 million (30% increase)
Visitor Spending – $512.1 million (20.3% increase)
Local tax revenue – $15 million (22% increase)
Visitor Spending – $130.2 million (20.1% increase)
Local tax revenue – $2.8 million (16% increase)
Fast Facts about Illinois Tourism in 2022
● Illinois welcomed 111 visitors in 2022, an increase of 14 million travelers from 2021
● Visitor spending resulted in $44 billion in 2022, an increase of $12 billion from 2021
● State and local tax revenue from visitor spending generated $4.2 billion
● Visitor spending supported 270,600 tourism-related jobs, an increase of 38,300 jobs from 2021
● Illinois reached its highest ever hotel tax revenue in FY23, $308 million
Annual economic impact data is provided by Tourism Economics and state hotel revenue collections are provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The hotel revenue figures represent all Illinois hotels, motels, and lodging establishment’s taxable revenue.
(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties and East St. Louis in St. Clair County. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)