Tourism spending up in Winnebago County - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Tourism spending up in Winnebago County

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RACVB press conference announcing tourism growth RACVB press conference announcing tourism growth

Visitors to Winnebago County spent over $300 million last year, the highest amount on record.

Spending increased 11.8 percent in 2011 to over $311 million. Winnebago County's rate of growth surpassed that of the state and of all comparative markets. The State of Illinois saw an 8.1 percent increase and most comparative markets saw increases slower than that of the state average.

Jobs supported by tourism increased by 1.1 percent in 2011, compared to 2010. The state saw an increase of 1.5 percent and many comparative markets saw decreases in tourism supported jobs. Winnebago County had 2,620 jobs supported by tourism last year.

Local tax revenue generated from visitor spending increased 8.5 percent to a total of $5.01 million for the county. The state average was just 4.9 percent. "This is money that wouldn't exist in our community without visitors," Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO John Groh said. "That money cycles through local restaurants, hotels and retail outlets, creating jobs and tax revenue."

All data was commissioned by the Illinois Office of Tourism.

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