• Winnebago County Sees Tourism Growth

     
    POSTED August 23, 2016
     

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.”

I’ve been traveling Amtrak for business a lot lately, from Washington, D.C., to points north, including Philadelphia, New York City, and Newark, and I’ve been reminded of how relaxing and time saving train travel can be. For one thing, train stations are typically right in the heart of cities; for another, it’s easy to plug in and work. 

 

Results from the Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) 2022 Incentive Travel Destination Preferences & Their Impact on Motivation confirmed that interest in incentive travel as a motivating sales reward is at an all-time high. 91% of 405 survey respondents described group incentive travel as extremely or very motivating compared to 80% last year. Individual incentive travel was rated even higher as a motivational award at 96% versus 84% last year. 

 

The future of the travel industry depends on becoming increasingly more sustainable. 

That’s according to Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president, public affairs and policy, for the U.S. Travel Association.

“The industry’s existence depends on it and a whole-of-industry approach will be required to enable travelers to move through the travel ecosystem in a climate-conscious way,” Barnes says.