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Hospitality Jobs in Illinois Remain Strong

Posted on March 11, 2009

Although the current economic recession has continued to take its toll on most industries, hospitality jobs in Illinois have held strong.

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism has stated that tourism was one of the largest businesses for Illinois during 2007, and while the industry’s numbers have dropped slightly during 2008 and the beginning of 2009, tourism continues to play an important part in the state’s economy.

According to an article by Galesburg Radio, the tourism industry created 305,460 Illinois jobs during 2007, an increase of 3,940 jobs and 5.1 percent of the state’s non-farm payroll. That same year, about 89 million domestic visitors came to Illinois, spending more than $29.9 billion, a 5.8 percent increase from 2006.

Travel-related spending brought in more than $5.4 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue, a 4.1 percent increase from 2006. These additional funds save the average Illinois household more than $1,100 in taxes every year.

As of December 2008, Illinois’ leisure and hospitality industry employed 521,900 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 523,500 workers during November 2008 and a 1.6 percent decrease from last year.

Jan Kostner, deputy director of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, said in the article that the state is focusing on marketing affordable getaways and vacations. Illinois also is planning to launch “Perfect Match: There’s a Getaway for That,” a new marketing campaign to attract travelers by showing them the perfect getaway in Illinois. The bureau’s Web site will offer a quiz that will help match traveler’s likes and dislikes to potential vacation options.

The 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln and the election of President Barack Obama also have helped draw numerous tourists this year.

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