Visitors to Winnebago County boost economy - – Rockford’s News Leader

Visitors to Winnebago County boost economy


Visitors to Winnebago County brought in nearly $320 million in 2013, according to the Illinois Office of Tourism.

Tourism in Winnebago County supported 2,640 jobs in the hospitality sector; those jobs generated $71,290,000 in payroll. The tax revenue produced by the local visitor industry was $5,240,000.

But those numbers are actually down by about 2.1 percent from 2012.

"In 2011 and 2012 Winnebago County's tourism increases outpaced that of other metro regions in Illinois. In fact, in 2011 it great at a higher rate than the State of Illinois," says RACVB Board Chairman Darrell Snorek.

Sites and attractions recorded record-breaking visitation, though. Area sites and attractions welcomed more than 6 million visitors, up about 1 percent over 2012.

Individual events grew, however total attendance for festivals and events dropped due to the cancellation of On the Waterfront and the 2013 Rockford Airfest. Event attendance was nearly 800,000 in 2013 versus more than 1 million in 2012. When these two events are removed from calculation, overall event attendance grew approximately 5 percent.

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