Jacksonville tourism topped $47 million dollars according to the latest economic impact report from the Illinois Office of Tourism.
Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brittany Henry breaks down the latest numbers, which come from 2015.
“Travel expenditures for this year topped $47.03 million, that’s a 2.7 percent increase that we had from the prior year. We increased our payroll for the area, we were at $7.73 million, which is a huge increase for us, we were up 7.6 percent on that. We had a 3.7 percent increase in jobs in the area, so tourism supports 280 jobs. We had a big increase in our local tax receipts as well, we were up 5.7 percent, which brought around $940,000 into our area,” says Henry.
Henry talks about how last year’s numbers compared to 2014, as well as her expectations for 2016.
“We’re up tremendously from 2014. With everything happening with the state this past year, with the budget, we were a little concerned because we did do some halt on some marketing, but we were able to pick up the pieces and hold strong and still continue all of our marketing efforts. We’re really hoping that 2016 will be even bigger and better. We’ve got some great things happening in the area, everyone knows the pipeline’s here, the Ameren project, and those are numbers that aren’t really in factor with the 2015 numbers that we have,” Henry explains.
Tourism expenditures topped $37 billion dollars throughout the state, which is up about two-and-a-half percent from 2014. Over 10,000 jobs were created by Illinois’ tourism industry in 2015, a three-and-a-half percent increase from the year prior.
Henry gave thanks to Jacksonville Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce, whom the Visitors Bureau works with to develop the local economy.