CHICAGO – Today, Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), elected officials, and industry leaders to announce that Illinois reached its highest-ever hotel revenue figures in FY23 ($308 million) – surpassing the pre-pandemic record in FY19. Additionally, Illinois welcomed 111 million visitors who spent $44 billion in 2022 – representing 14 million additional travelers spending $12 billion more than calendar year 2021.
“I am proud to announce that in the fiscal year ending June 30, Illinois saw the highest ever hotel revenue numbers. More tourism means millions of new visitors exploring all the amazing things that our state and city have to offer – supporting small businesses and local economies along the way,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Whether you’re a life-long resident of the Land of Lincoln looking to explore your own state, or an out-of-town visitor curious to discover the cool entertainment, award winning culinary delights, or all the great local shopping: we’re here to welcome you.”
“Our highest-ever hospitality revenue is proof that we are truly the middle of everything, and our administration is driven to continue supporting the residents and local economies that make Illinois a world-class destination for tourism,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Despite disruptions caused by the pandemic, we bounced back better than ever because every visitor can find something to love in Illinois – and we will keep shining a light on all our great state has to offer.”
Visitor spending surged to $44 billion in 2022 – $12 billion over calendar year 2021 and 97% of record 2019 levels, according to data provided by Tourism Economics. 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, which is a 30% increase from 2021 figures ($60 billion).
“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois has made unprecedented investments in the travel and tourism industry and more visitors are coming to Illinois and supporting our businesses as a result,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Illinois is the Middle of Everything – a world renowned destination where you can enjoy natural treasures, small town charm and big city amenities or whatever adventure you are looking for. We’re excited to build upon this record-breaking progress as we continue to promote Illinois and support the industry.”
In 2022 according to the Tourism Economics Report, state and local tax revenue from visitor spending generated an impressive $4.2 billion. This boost in revenue has invigorated various sectors of the state’s economy while directly supporting 270,600 jobs in the state’s tourism and hospitality industry, an increase of 38,300 jobs from 2021.
“These numbers show once again that people all across the country and all around the world think Illinois is great and can’t wait to come here,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, (D-Oak Park). “Illinois is a world-class destination that from the Shawnee National Forest to the shoreline of Lake Michigan – and all points in between — has something terrific to offer everyone. This success is a collaborative effort and shows we can balance budgets, grow the economy and break records all at the same time.”
“Once again, we are showing that in order to have a prosperous future, it pays to make those investments now,” said Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, (D-Westchester). “By making tourism promotion a priority in the budget, we can now boast record tax revenues and growing visitor numbers. This isn’t because of luck; we laid the groundwork and did the work to get to where we are today.”
“Tourism is not just about the bragging rights of being the top attraction that everyone wants to cross off their list -which we are. It’s really about dollars and cents,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz, (D-Chicago). “That $44 billion in visitor spending in 2022 is money that goes right into our communities, our workforce, and our public services. I look forward to even more growth in years ahead.”
“The hospitality industry is not only in every corner of the state, but it also relies on a growing, diverse workforce to make it run,” said State Senator Robert Peters, (D-Chicago). “More visitors means more career opportunities for the Black and Immigrant people that prepare our hotel rooms, manage our restaurants, and take the stage for the world-class entertainment that visitors know and love.”
“The Middle of Everything campaign is bringing in dividends, and it is not hard to figure out why,” said State Representative Kam Buckner, (D-Chicago). “I’m privileged to represent Millennium Park and the beautiful skyscrapers in downtown Chicago all the way down to historic Bronzeville. It is high time that the world sees what we see: first on TV, and then right here in person.”
“Our city and our state have so much to offer, and I’m thrilled that so many visitors from around the world have come to experience the place I am lucky enough to call home,” said State Representative Margaret Croke, (D-Chicago). “When tourists come to visit our local bars and restaurants, small businesses, and family friendly attractions, our residents and communities benefit.”
“The hotel industry was among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, so these numbers are encouraging as the industry continues to work to recover,” said Michael Jacobson, President and CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. “We look forward to returning to our place as a strong economic engine for the state as demand for tourism returns and occupancy numbers rise closer to pre-pandemic levels. I want to thank Governor Pritzker for his efforts to support Illinois’ tourism economy as we continue welcoming visitors back to our communities.”
Illinois has made significant investments in the travel and tourism industry, including $8 million for two funding rounds to support projects along Route 66, $3 million for tourism marketing grants, and $33 million for two rounds of tourism and festivals grants – amounting to nearly 200 awards benefiting communities across the state. Illinois has also distributed hundreds of millions of dollars directly to hotels, restaurants, and other tourism businesses through its Back to Business (B2B) and Business Interruption Grant programs.
Another key component of Illinois tourism’s success is the state’s award-winning “Middle of Everything” tourism campaign. Since it launched in 2022, the campaign has contributed to an additional 2 million trips equaling an additional $1 billion spent in Illinois hotels, restaurants, small businesses, and attractions, according to data from Longwoods International. Additionally, every $1 spent on the campaign equated to $91 in visitor spending while generating $10 in state and local tax revenue for every dollar spent – an enormous return on investment.
To learn more about Illinois and to plan an Illinois getaway, visit www.EnjoyIllinois.com.