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Hospitality Jobs in Illinois Crucial to Economy

Posted on June 9, 2009

Hospitality jobs in Illinois, along with other tourism jobs, play a large part in the state’s economy.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced that the state’s tourism industry generated billions of dollars for local economies and supported hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state during 2008. The economic impact of tourism increased by more than $883 million to a record $30.8 billion and the travel industry created 303,500 jobs.

“Despite the national economic downturn, Illinois continues to attract visitors from near and far to explore all our state has to offer,” Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said. “Visitors are staying in our state longer and spending more of their money than ever before, creating good jobs for the hard-working people of our state. Tourism remains a powerful driver in the Illinois economy.”

That same year, visitors spent about $84 million on Illinois business every day, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Domestic travel expenditures came in at $28.4 billion, a 1.7 percent increase from 2007. International travel expenditures came in at $2.4 billion, a 21 percent increase from 2007. Retail shopping alone by international visitors increased by more than 29 percent.

An additional $33 million in state and local taxes was generated during 2008, resulting in a record tax collection of $2.14 billion for the year. Total travel-generated tax revenues, including federal, state and local, save an average Illinois household more than $1,100 in taxes each year.

During the last five years, the economic impact of tourism has increased by more than $7.8 billion, or 34 percent, throughout Illinois.

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