Chicago is nearing its goal of attracting 55 million annual visitors—and everyone, including the meetings and events industry, is benefitting from the attention.
Illinois Office of Tourism
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.”
“I consider myself the state cheerleader,” laughs Cory Jobe, a Springfield alderman who, in February, became the state director for the Illinois Office of Tourism. The combination uniquely fits the natural born tour guide, who was raised in the small town of Robinson, “home of the Heath candy bar,” and has big plans for boosting the profile of Main Street Illinois while keeping four consecutive years of visitor growth on track for the near future.